Sumkar MP farewelled

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Wife Jane, children, immediate family and staff of Sumkar MP Chris Nangoi awaiting the arrival of the hearse at Parliament House yesterday.

RIGO MP and Leader of the United Labour Party (ULP) Lekwa Gure was the only MP who paid his last respect to Sumkar MP Chris Nangoi at the Grand Hall yesterday.
“What a time to have Nangoi’s body lie in state because all the current members are out in their respective districts and provinces, hence, l was the only MP to be here,” Gure said.
Parliament staff and Nangoi’s immediate family members attended the ceremony.
Speaker of Parliament Job Pomat and parliament officials, including deputy clerk Basil Kambuliagen, deputy sergeant at arms Silas Waiki and protocol officer Derrick Kunji will accompany Nangoi’s body to Madang today to hand over to the provincial government.
“Nangoi was 43, and had done a lot of work on Karkar Island where the bulk of the population is when I visited two-and-a-half years ago,” he said.
Gure said former party leader Sam Basil passed away a month before Nangoi.
Nangoi was the third candidate and second MP under ULP to pass away in the lead up to the General Election 2022 (GE22).
He became the third ULP member and ninth MP to die in office.
“After Basil’s passing, a week later, the candidate for Kundiawa-Gembogl, Willie Kupo also died,” Gure said.
“It’s unfortunate for the party to lose two of its current sitting MPs within one month of each other.
“Those two gentlemen were to retain their seats given the amount of work they did,” he said.
Nangoi died of a heart attack while campaigning in Madang.
He was from Yukyuk village in Karkar, Madang
Nangoi had a degree in electrical and communications engineering from the PNG University of Technology in Lae.

Lack of service not UN’s fault, says official

THE United Nations (UN) is not a donor but development agency here to support specific groups to have their rights fulfilled, says a UN official.
UN Women Protection Cluster Specialist Babak Askarian, while speaking at a five-day conference for disability inclusion yesterday, said the UN was merely here to support the Government in providing for the people and was not accountable for the lack of service provision.
“What we are aiming for (in PNG) is to have a systematic approach to ownership; I know there’s a lot that non-governmental organisations can do but ultimately, the government should be held accountable for how funds are spent on the actual service delivery,” he said.
Askarian pointed out that when there is a gatekeeper, such as the role of the Department for Community Development and Religion (DfCDR), there should be greater accountability of the budget allocated for PWD-related purposes.
Hosted by the NCD DiffAbilities Advocacy Agency (NCD DAA) and funded by UN Women, provincial organisations for Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) have gathered in the National Capital District (NCD) to review the national policy on disability with the government body responsible.
Disability inclusion technical advisor for the NCD DAA Kevin Akike said the ultimate purpose of the workshop was to review the disability policy and ensure that it was truly inclusive of the voices of PWDs throughout the country.
Although invited in advance, no representatives from DfCDR were present to review the legislation.

PLWDs, youths’ votes can make a difference, says rep

PAPUA New Guinea Youths with Disabilities (PNGYWD) votes can make a difference in the General Election 2022 (GE22), a youth says.
PNGYWD representative Lovelyn Garry said this during a youth voter festival last Friday.
The festival was hosted by the International Federation of Electoral System (IFES) in Port Moresby.
“We have the right to cast our votes on our preferred candidates,” she said.
We have to show others that we can participate in such activities.”
The 37-year-old, who also represents Gomosa youth group, told The National that she had been voting in the past elections but did not know the procedures too well.
“After attending training workshops with IFES, I have learnt how to conduct myself in a manner to vote, and how I can educate others to vote,” she added.
Lovelyn was among 200 youths who participated in the festival to encourage young people’s interest, participation and to inform young, eligible voters in the GE22.
Meanwhile, IFES deputy country manager Robert Irish said: “Many youths who attended the festival will cast their votes for the first time, exercising their rights as citizens.”
Festival participants also took part in a polling simulation exercise conducted by the PNG Electoral Commission.

ULP wants partnership with government-forming party

THE United Labour Party (ULP) wants to be a coalition partner with the party that forms the next government, an official says.
Party leader and Rigo MP Lekwa Gure said about 25 of the 58 ULP candidates have a good chance of being elected into Parliament.
Gure said there were four sitting MPs – himself, Markham’s Koni Iguan, Raicoast’s Peter Sapia and Lufa’s Moriape Kavori.
“We endorsed 61 candidates, but with the passing of two MPs and one candidate, we now have 58,” he said.
“If we were to use the law of averages, we expect about 25 to 30 candidates to be elected.
“That is still a big number for us to be in coalition with the party that the Governor General invites to form the government.
“That’s a huge number when it comes to negotiations for the formation of the government.”
Gure said he had learnt a lot of things in his first term in Parliament at the electorate level, parliamentary procedures, legislature and ministerial experience.
“We’ve done a lot of work in Rigo and that’s going to accelerate and I’ve already got the plan,” he said.
“We need to address special development outcomes such as good governance, transport accessibility, quality education and health services, economic empowerment and job creation for the people.
“Two things that I bring in addressing working conditions for the formal workforce are reviewing minimum wages and retirement benefit tax.
“Not everything we bring to the negotiation table will be taken into account, our coalition partners will also want to include their policy initiatives,” Gure said.