The National – Thursday, December 30, 2010
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
EAST Sepik Regional MP Sir Michael Somare and acting Prime Minister Sam Abal are backing Rai Coast MP James Gau for the position of Madang governor.
Abal travelled to Madang on the government’s Falcon jet from Wabag on Tuesday where he was met at the Madang Resort hotel by local businessman and former politician Sir Peter Barter, Attorney-General Sir Arnold Amet and Sir Michael.
After making their intentions known, Sir Michael and his wife, Lady Veronica, left for Wewak later that day.
Another likely candidate for the governorship is Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather.
Observers said local level government presidents from Sumkar, Rai Coast, Usino-Bundi, Madang and upper and lower Ramu were with Gau, a Madang local.
Only 17 months as a politician, Gau said: “This is basically what the national government has promised to Rai Coast, and there are many outstanding issues to be dealt with such as the Ramu nickel mine and the Manam-Bogia resettlement issues among other things.”
Fairweather was, however, also confident on Monday of taking the governorship, claiming that he
had the support of 16 LLG presidents.
“I am the best man to do the job.
“I have the support of these presidents and even open members.
“I will fix the law and order and money problem in the province.
“I am the best and the tough one to do the job.
“If they do not think so, then, I will be happy to go back to Sumkar where I love it. But, if any presidents think they will get any money from me for their support, they can forget me. I am not paying anyone,” Fairweather said.
High on the LLG presidents’ list is the provinces K97m budget breakup and the disbursements of its funding portions to high priority programmes in the district’s medium-term development plan (MDTP) areas.
The provincial assembly was likely to meet sometime next week to vote in a new governor and deliberate on Madang’s 2011 budget.