COINCIDING with his first 100 days in office and celebrating the country’s 44th Independence, Prime Minister James Marape released his vision and mission of making Papua New Guinea the Richest Black Christian Country.
This 10 point mission statement is embodied in what he calls the Marape Manifesto.
Perhaps those who followed the China’s Long March in the 1960’s -70’s will remember well and might scantly relate to the Communist Manifesto and Chairman Mao Tze Tung’s Little Red Book that triggered the Cultural Revolution and made China a world power as we know today.
PM Marape intends to revolutionise change starting by cultivating right minds followed with right action.
And Marape envisions achieving his grand idea only within 10 years – 2019 to 2029.
Ten years is two 5-year mid-term plans or two national elections – 2022 and 2027 – and give or take four vote of no-confidences (VONC) with the way things as they are now.
It is a daunting task indeed, considering the shifting sands of our political landscape, wavering national wills and varying expectations.
Notwithstanding, Marape shows no inclination of ambiguity or whatsoever to what he intends to achieve – a giant leap of faith.
Moreover, the prime minister pledged his political career to the success of his vision and solemnly swore that he be held accountable on his performance.
Medical practitioners might want to relate this to the Hippocratic Oath – absolute loyalty and devotion beyond reproach.
And no prime minister in the country has ever being so committed and willing to sacrifice to a cause he firmly believed.
Now, how will Marape smooth-sail through the straits of Scylla and Charybdis, of two national elections and vote of no confidences lurking ahead, all the way to 2029?
Sir Mekere Morauta – the most experienced hand on starboard – would agree that it wasn’t not right thinking that kept us from advancing far but it was political instability that plagued growth and consistency to fulfil national will.
It all seems rosy today and everyone in government is having a field day singing kumbaya because there is virtually no opposition and the ‘right to passage’ through to 2022 is a walk in the park.
But come 2022 national election when it’s again open season and that’s when everyone starts singing in different tones as things start going back to the drawing board.
Marape’s government has two or three coalition partners with the same numerical strength as his own Pangu Pati and there is so much at stake with uncertainty on the stability of this government.
Marape needs a strong and stable government to see him through to the fullness of time to realise his vision. In order for government stability, consistency and sustained governance Marape has to do away with VONC.
VONC is a hindrance to government stability apart from the check and balance rhetoric and our political history is littered with enough examples to justify.
Remove VONC and compensate that accordingly by shortening the parliament’s term to 4 years – as the American senate.
The government has more than the required numbers in repealing organic laws and achieving this key legislative change will not be a problem.
The final most important thing is Pangu’s own numbers. Pangu has to start building its own rank and systematically recruit and convert coalition partners and non-Pangu MPs to the party.
Prior going to the elections Pangu must have a solid base enough to return and form the next government.