Party now on road to revival, Micah says

The National, Thursday July 7th, 2016

THE People’s Progress Party, which was decimated on Bougainville in 1997 after the infamous Sandline crisis, is now on a revival course, says party leader Ben Micah.
He was commenting on the win by PPP candidate Timothy Masiu during the South Bougainville by-election.
He said the Bougainville crisis, especially the events of 1997 and the failed engagement of Sandline, “resulted in a big disaster for PPP”.
“Leaders of PPP including Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan lost his seat. I lost my seat in Kavieng. Deputy leader Sir Albert Kipalan lost his seat in Wabag. Late David Mai lost his Chimbu Regional seat. Peter Yama lost Sumkar.
“Sandline became a bad word for PPP. A lot of people in PNG thought PPP would never win a seat on Bougainville (again).”
Micah thanked the voters of South Bougainville for electing a PPP candidate.
“This win has broken the drought for PPP,” Micah said.
“We’ve been coming second and third in about three or four of the elections that we’ve participated in.
“I was getting worried that I will lead a demoralised party into the national election next year. So this win is very significant, something that we are very proud of.”
Micah said PPP had tried without success for 45 years to win the South Bougainville seat.