Reconciliation ceremony absurd

Editorial, Normal

WE tend to agree with Moresby Northeast community leader Jeffrey Yure that the so-called reconciliation ceremony between certain members of the public and former NCD governor Wari Vele is absurd.
Indeed, we would like to invite PNG Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen to give us an opinion on events of this nature which can easily be construed to be early campaigning for 2012.
As 2012 approaches, there will be more and more of this kind of gimmicks staged right across the country.
In truth, they are early campaigns which, under the law, are illegal. Campaigning is restricted to when the writs are issued.
What is even more bothersome is that such ceremonies will trigger heightened political manoeuvring so that goods and services delivery can suffer.
The National also advises that all funding, which is channelled through members of parliament such as the district and provincial services improvement programme funds and all sectoral funds, ought to cease next year and in 2012 because almost all of the funds would be abused by members.
This gives MPs an unfair advantage over other candidates when standing for public office is an important constitutionally guaranteed right and it is the duty of parliament and government to ensure there is a level playing field. In any event, each open MP has been handed K17 million each since 2007.
That is a lot of money in any man’s language.
In addition, many hundreds of millions of kina have been available to members also under sectoral funds such as the National Agriculture Development Programme funds and those under the health and transport sectors.
It is any man’s guess but each MP might well have had available to him funds valued at more than K20 million.
That is the largest amount of money available to politicians in any parliament. Yet, for all these amounts of money, developments in the electorates are still lacking. This is the sad truth.
We dare say that the PNG politician has had more public money made available to him than any politicians in the world in both the developed and developing countries.
But, back to early electioneering, the ceremony concocted by former campaign officers of Vele is absurd because it ought to have come soon after the 2007 elections.
If Vele’s defectors and their cronies wanted to reconcile with Vele for betraying him in the 2007 elections, they should have done so privately and not make a show out of it.
The name of the entire ceremony itself is a dead giveaway. It is called “wanbel 2012”.
Looking at what was said during the ceremony also leaves one in no doubt as to the intent and purpose of this gathering.
Coordinator of the meeting Pex Kuman said the ceremony was to seek Vele’s forgiveness and to work together with him in 2012. That can only mean the 2012 national elections, so, this is an early election campaign.
Women spokesperson Maria Andrews also attacked the current administration at City Hall when she said there was no point in decorating the city and beautifying it when people were suffering.
Maybe true, but there is nothing wrong with cleanliness. Again, clear case of campaigning.
We agree with Yure that there is something “fishy” in the ceremony.
Again, we call on the electoral commission to come clear and set strict guidelines on this kind of gimmicks.
According to Yure, there was something “fishy” in the ceremony.
It makes no sense when people vote one candidate and, then, decided they have made a mistake and want to swing back to their former friend.
It just shows what kind of gullible people they are who have no principles and, perhaps, flow with the tide.
It is best that their reconciliation ceremonies are conducted privately and not paraded in the public as if the rest of society ought to know what they have been up to.
We are not interested in their antics.