Week in Review: PNG Politics

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By Scott Waide – EMTV News In PNG politics, strategists always need to have a multi-level, dashboard approach to planning and executing their next move. In nearly all instances, it’s a process ideal for the party leader looking for opportunities to draw near to the political engine room. This chapter began on the floor of parliament when the house was adjourned. Then, it went  into the corridors where Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, told journalists the two week adjournment would be used to fix in house matters – chief among them – the vacancies left by party members that defected. Of course,  like any sensible political head, you’d offer ministries to those who are loyal and entice those who might just be drawn over by the promise of power. Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, hinted at the process that was coming. At the corridor news conference, key members of the coalition showed their presence.   Of particular interest was  Sam Basil the Bulolo MP and the man who revived Pangu Party…then killed its parliamentary arm in a space of two days by getting all its members to resign.  He then went on to resurrect the Melanesian Alliance – another party that had a defunct political wing. Days later, his loyalty paid off, he was given the Planning Ministry – a portfolio he held before his 10 year stint in the opposition. The maneuvering behind the scenes was obvious.  Two other party members:  Chris Nagoi, Sumkar MP, a political newbie was  given a ministry – Transport and infrastructure,  while Rigo’s  Lekwa Gure, was given  Civil Aviation responsibilities. Richard Maru was moved to Finance to fill up the vacancy left by James Marape; United Resource Party member, William Onglo,  the member for Kundiawa Gembogl, was given the Defence Ministry. Days earlier, Douglas Tomuriesa,  the Kiriwina-Goodenough MP, who said he had consulted his family before leaving the PNC Party went back to the Crowne Hotel where he was met by Moresby South MP, and Lands Minister, Justin Tktatchenko. On  May 16, Douglas Tomuriesa said he was sorry for what he said about the Prime Minister.  He brought a few pigs to present to the Prime Minster as a way of apologizing.   The PM later stated that Tomuriesa was still the Forest Minister despite everything that unfolded in last previous weeks. For now,  we can’t really predict the future – that’s the job of political prophets and glasman. But what we can say is ministries are, during votes of no confidence, a commodities  used to secure loyalties. We might see a few minor reshuffles going into the future.]]>

Scott Waide

is the Lae Bureau Chief and began his career with EMTV in 1997 as a News and Sports Reporter and Anchor and has been a media professional for over 19 years. Having previously worked as a Producer and Researcher for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Port Moresby Bureau, he is a recipient of multiple awards including the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union Prize in 2005 in Iran for best news feature, the Pacific Island News Association Award and the Divine Word University Media Freedom Award.

Scott Waide
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