Son keen to carry legacy

Main Stories

MICHAEL Somare Junior says a lot of things in East Sepik have not been done the way his father, the late Sir Michael Somare, had wished for.
The young Somare, who had lived most of his life in Wewak, said he was passionate to continue his late father’s legacy.
He is among others contesting incumbent Governor Allan Bird for the regional seat in the General Election 2022 (GE22).
For a private person like Michael Jnr, he had been involved with politics all his life.
The Somare children had travelled with their father on that political journey, the late Grand Chief embarked on prior to the country gaining Independence in 1975.
“I’ve been involved with politics all my life,” he said.
In 1994, he returned to Wewak after attending the PNG University of Technology and operated his business.
Michael Jnr said his father worked hard and brought impact projects and money into the country between 2002 and 2011.
But he said the money got caught up in the system.
His sibling, Dulciana Somare Brash, also an independent, is contesting incumbent MP Salio Waipo for the Angoram Open seat.
Michael Jnr said: “This is a personal journey for me. A lot of things in the province were not done the way my father had wished.
“My father has always been about helping people.
He said to relocate the Boram hospital to Wirui but no one listened. Now the tide keeps coming in, the hospital had to be pulled down.
“There is law and order issues in the province because there are no jobs.
“No tangible development in the province in the last five years.
“It’s exhausting for me who lives in the province to not see any impact project.”

Morobe polling official highlights shortcomings

TIME is against Morobe’s returning officers (ROs) as some of the materials they need to transport to rural districts are still in Lae, a spokesman says.
Wau-Waria RO Fidelis Harrisol said the training of polling officials had not been conducted with polling starting next week.
“We also do not have in hand the gazetted polling schedules,” he said.
He said all polling dates and locations had to be gazetted and polling could not be run if the ROs and their assistants did not have this.
The scrutineers forms had to be distributed so that respective candidates could direct them to locations of polling at a given date.
Harrisol also pointed out that the new Wau-Waria electorate was isolated and the only means of transportation for election materials was by air.
“At the moment, all materials for the polling and counting are still in Lae. This may be also true for other electorates such as Kabwum, Tewai-Siassi and others.”
Harrisol said they were also yet to brief scrutineers on what they were expected to do during the polling and counting.
He added that payment for polling officials would be another area that would need to be addressed.
“We need to have access to that money early, hopefully tomorrow so that those service providers who helped during polling can be paid off.”
He said Morobe’s ROs were concerned with these issues and hoped that authorities addressed these areas quickly and effectively with polling set to begin on Monday.

Pruaitch claims National Alliance can turn economy around

Patrick Pruaitch

A POLTICAL party formerly in government says it can turn the country’s ailing prospects and build a brighter future for all Papua New Guineans.
National Alliance (NA) leader Patrick Pruaitch told public rallies in his Aitape-Lumi electorate in West Sepik that his party had done it before after the depressing situation from 1999 to 2002 and could do it again in 2022.
The NA Leader said PNG experienced significant economic growth from 2002 to 2011 under an NA-led government but since then the economy became stagnant.
He said the country had risen from the depths of recession in 2002 under an NA government and grew over more than a decade before slowing down by 2014.
“For a resource-rich country like PNG this is a sad outcome. Under NA, per capita income rose from K198.81 in 2002 to K566.53 by 2007.”
Speaking at an Aitape-Lumi rally, Pruaitch claimed that the governments of Prime Ministers
Peter O’Neill and James Marape had damaged PNG’s economic potential and prospects through excessive borrowing and expenditure.
“Former Prime Minister O’Neill keeps talking about spending on infrastructure but ignores the fact that such spending is questionable in the face of falling employment levels during his seven years in office. O’Neill never addressed falling job numbers while in office, and now claims he will create 500,000 jobs in the next five years.
“The lost years under O’Neill and Marape are a sad legacy. In their war of words, they compare their dismal performances against each other’s record, but never against the NA Government’s 2002 to 2011 success story.”
“As the leader of the National Alliance Party I am fully committed to policy changes that will create a vibrant and growing private sector with rising domestic and foreign investments,” Pruaitch said.
Pruaitch said NA was not making rash and unachievable promises and was confident that the party has good, sensible policies that is needed to shift the economy around and to create many thousands of jobs to address unemployment.