The National, Friday, May 6, 2011
By JASON GIMA WURI
THE political landscape in Papua New Guinea is changing rapidly and it is time to allow that change to reflect in our leadership, Sir Mekere Morauta told a party gathering in Port Moresby yesterday.
The founder of the Papua New Guinea Party and Moresby Northwest MP told the party’s 2011 national convention that it was time to allow a new generation of leaders to find their place.
“I have stood down to allow the young generation of leaders to find their stride because I believe that is the way forward and with this I urge you all to support our new leader,” he said.
“Belden Namah is a strong leader and I have confidence in him and the young leaders around him to form a strong team to carry PNG Party into the future.
“PNG Party now has stronger foundations to face the next elections,” Sir Mekere said.
He said the PNG Party did well in the 2007 elections but now needed to take their efforts to a new level if they hoped for any chance of forming a new government next year.
“The country is facing huge economic changes and the biggest challenge is to share and distribute the wealth equally to create meaningful development,” Sir Mekere said.
Namah thanked and commended Sir Mekere’s for his approach to shift in leadership and for allowing him to take responsibility.
“In his capacity as PNG’s firstfinance secretary at independence, managing director of the then PNG Banking Corporation, governor of the Bank of PNG and as prime minister, Sir Mekere has made significant and important decisions towards the country’s development and I salute him for that.
“Last year, I made a very important personal decision in my short political career to break ranks with the National Alliance-led government.
“The decision was tough but I did so after careful and much consideration.
“My conscience was absolutely clear when I decided to forego the perks and privileges I was enjoying as minister for forests.
“I had to make a choice between self-interest and that of PNG as a nation and, to me, PNG’s national interest was paramount and above my own.
“It is with this firm conviction that I decided to leave the government, which is tainted by scandals and controversy.
“By handing over the leadership of PNG Party to me, Sir Mekere ignited a new beginning of PNG’s political development process,” Namah said.