Parties urged to unite, lead PNG to 2012 polls

National, Normal

The National – Friday, July 1, 2011

FOUNDER of the United Resources Party Anderson Agiru has called for unity and support for the government of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare to lead the nation to next year’s general election.
Agiru was on Tuesday with Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal and Enga Governor Peter Ipatas when Arthur Somare broke the news of his family’s decision to retire Sir Michael.
Agiru called on the coalition partners to work together and continue the government of Sir Michael.
He said they should support the wish of the prime minister for Abal to lead the coalition to the elections.
“In his wisdom, we can now see the craftsmanship of the greatest carver of our times who hails from the Murik Lakes,” he said.
“Now I see the wisdom of the Grand Chief in appointing Abal as the acting PM, rather than an NA deputy leader or a coalition party leader.
“The Grand Chief chose somebody who is humble and can widely consult with the coalition partners leading into the elections.
“If he had appointed a deputy or coalition party leader, they will work hard to undermine the Warangoi Accord and the coalition spirit.
“He chose someone humble to consult widely to run the nation.
“Best wishes to the Somare family and we thank God for giving us a great leader in the Grand Chief for the leadership he has provided for more than 40 years,’’ he said.
People’s National Congress party leader Peter O’Neill expressed sadness at the departure of Sir Michael from politics.
“It is sad that my good friend has to leave the public service like this,’’ he said.
“But, we respect the decision by the Somare family to retire our founding father, given his health condition.
“PNC has enjoyed a cordial and fruitful working relationship under the leadership of Sir Michael.
“We thank him for the confidence he has demonstrated in us by having us serve in government,” O’Neill said.
“Sir Michael is a great leader who has influenced our lives one way or another.
“We pray for a speedy recovery so he can enjoy the retirement he deserves.”
The PNG Trade Union Congress president Michael Ma­labag wished the Grand Chief well in his recovery and thanked the people of East Sepik for selflessly giving a leader to lead the nation.
He said the workers would miss a great leader who had done a lot for them, the latest being the increase in minimum wages.
“We have enjoyed a good relationship with a leader
who has the wisdom and the people of this country at heart,” he said.