Somare backs Pangu unity at convention

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PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare wants to see the political parties which took Papua New Guinea to independence re-united to lead the nation into the future.
Speaking at the launch of the 23rd Pangu Pati convention being held at the Nawae Lutheran High School outside Lae, Sir Michael said he wants to see Pangu, People’s Progress Party, National Party and United Party join forces with the National Alliance to govern PNG after the 2012 general elections.
This term of Parliament is likely to be his last after more than 40 years of active politics.
Yesterday he called for a strong political party system in PNG to run the nation and hinted that he wanted the parties that were there at independence coming back together to take the country further forward.
Sir Michael paid tribute to the Pangu Pati which he led for more than 20 years from self-government onwards saying the party had achieved unity for the nation and played a crucial role in forging political stability in PNG.
“Leadership is important and I want Pangu Pati to strengthen itself,” Sir Michael said.
He said the people of PNG want political stability.
The theme for the convention is: “Pangu Pati – still a party of relevance in the life of Papua New Guinea.”
At the opening ceremony, the party also announced its plans to write a book detailing the life of Pangu Pati, Sir Michael Somare and Papua New Guinea.
Sir Michael said he would raise funds to support the book, adding that it was important for Papua New Guineans to write about their own political party history rather than get outsiders to do it.
He said he had many files which he would personally make available for the writers of the book.
Some of the early Pangu Pati history is with Sir Barry Holloway, Lady Elizabeth Kiki and other former Pangu Pati MPs and supporters.
It was a day on which many of the former party greats turned up to support the convention.
They included Sir Pita Lus, who was Maprik MP for 38 years, Boyamo Sali, who was former Morobe regional MP and former Henganofi MP John Giheno.
A roll call was also done of the former Pangu leaders who had passed on since self-government and independence.
Former Aitape-Lumi MP Gabriel Ramoi told the convention politics was not about buying votes from the people.
He said such behaviour gave the impression that leaders did not care about the people.
Mr Ramoi was one of the speakers who spoke in response to Sir Michael’s address.
He told the convention Sir Michael’s legacy after leaving politics would be that he had brought political stability to the nation.
“Your history is not here,” he told Sir Michael.
“Your history is in the Pacific, in Asia and the world,” Mr Ramoi told Sir Michael.
“Your history is the history of Melanesia,” he added.
“You brought this nation from the Stone Age to the jet age,” Mr Ramoi said.
Pangu Pati is making an early start in preparing for the 2012 general elections.
The party’s parliamentary leader, Andrew Kumbakor, said the party did not perform well in the past two elections, all the more reasons why it must start preparing now for the 2012 national elections.
The party has five MPs – Mr Kumbakor, Martin Aini (Kavieng), Mr Embel, Francis Maru (Talasea) and Thompson Harokaqveh (Goroka).