Tom to defend Wabag seat

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INCUMBENT Wabag MP Dr Lino Tom (Independent in 2017) is likely to submit his nomination papers today to defend his seat, but this time on a People’s Party ticket.
His supporters started arriving in truck loads on Tuesday night from remote areas in Enga to witness Tom’s nomination.
However, he has been walking and hiking hills for days to reach out to remote villagers.
“I carry medical supplies with my officers by hiking the hills,” Tom said during his visit to Kayamtok on Tuesday.
While most election hopefuls or candidate are campaigning and visiting places with huge gatherings, Tom chose to visit the most remote areas where there are fewer people to assure them that he would continue with his service delivery if he is returned as MP.
People ran downhill from their huts to greet him when he arrived at the villages.
Maramuni’s Kayamatok is one of the remotest villages with no road access.
“It is tough and challenging. If you do not have the heart, you will give up easily and turn back. These people matter more to me.
“Often, we forget about them because of the remoteness of their villages but they still need us and basic Government services,” he added.
Tom said the road had been built as far as Maramuni station and he would continue until all the remote villages were linked by road.
“I have walked for days to give immunisation and provide medical services to them and I have felt their pain,” he said.
Tom also inspected the roads to ensure work was progressing.
“That is why I have been lobbying for funds to have roads built to give easy access for health services, which is paramount, and other Government services,” he added.
Tom also checked out the newly built Kiwi-Anditale road yesterday to ensure work was progressing and not disrupted by the 2022 general election.

One woman among 28 candidates running for Goilala Open

ONLY one day left for nominations and the Goilala open seat has only registered one female candidate among the 28 others.
District returning officer Theodore Maia said Matilda Tagu Koma filed her nomination on Thursday as an Independent candidate, which would be her fifth time to try and wrestle for the seat.
He said there had been no crowd control or security issues on site despite the history of Goilala people misbehaving.
“The people of Goilala are known to be violent people but since nominations started last week we had no issue” he said.
Maia said the only crowd that had traditional dancers which created noise at the Boroko area was Mathilda’s supporters when she filed her nomination.
He said 25 candidates nominated last week. “Nominations has been running smooth, we only had four who came in to nominate on Monday” he said.
He called on supporters and candidates to continue to control and behave themselves for the rest of the election period.

Hela yet to have a female contestant nominate

NOMINATIONS for 2022 general election close at 4pm today and 85 candidates – all men – have been nominated in Hela as of Tuesday.
Hela elections manager John Tipa said 12 nominations were accepted for the provincial seat, 10 for Tari-Pori, 23 for Koroba-Lake Kopiago, 26 for Komo-Hulia and 14 for Margarima.
“So far, nominations have been conducted peacefully,” he said, reminding Papua New Guineans that election returning officers were only present to facilitate the electoral process.
“Election is for the people to elect their leaders (once every five years). Your ballot papers (that you cast from July 2 to 22) hold the power.
“You alone will decide,” he added.
Tipa said there would be 81 polling stations in the province.
Meanwhile, Hela police commander Robin Bore has issued a warning to all truck owners engaged to carry supporters during election not to overload and to drive responsibly.
He said five people died on the spot in fatal a car accident on Monday afternoon.
Bore said that the accident was not election-related but was caused by the driver’s carelessness.
“This must therefore be a wake-up call to all to always drive responsibility during the general election,” he added.

Restriction placed on sale of alcohol in three provinces

ASSISTANT Commissioner of Police for Highlands Eastern End Rigga Neggi says there has been a restriction on the sale of alcohol in Western Highlands, Jiwaka and Chimbu.
“Instructions have been issued to all the liquor outlets to stop the sales of alcohol as of the issue of writs. They can continue business after the return of writs,” he said.
He said only hotels and restaurants would be selling alcohol to be served with food.
“There will be no alcohol served as takeaway to customers in hotels,” he said.
He said alcohol has caused so many social problems within communities and the restriction would help to minimise problems during the election.
He said those liquor shops that do not comply with the ban would be dealt with by the police.
He said there were also directives from Police Minister William Onglo two months ago concerning the alcohol restriction nationwide during the election.
“We are just implementing what has been proposed earlier with the hope that this will help for a peaceful election,” Neggi said.

Former police commander joins race in Enga

FORMER provincial police commander Martin Mining Lakari has filed his nomination papers to contest as an Independent in Lagaip.
After his successful nomination, Lakari said election hopefuls should ensure their supporters behaved and help maintain law and order.
“All contestants must lead by example and work with the Electoral Commission and security personnel to ensure a free and safe General Election 2022.
“Every candidate is a leader in their own right. We must display exemplary leadership qualities by observing the rule of law,” he added.
“We are leaders to be elected to serve. We must not behave like criminals to get our way into Parliament,” he added.
Lakari, who has served as Hela commander for Hela, Southern Highlands, Western Highlands and Enga, said he resigned to contest the election because he wanted to restore law and order in his district.
“We have a lot of a law and order issues to resolve and help the people raise their quality of life,” he added.
In his election poster, Lakari listed law and order, youth empowerment, church and state partnership, empowering in agriculture and small and medium enterprises, education and health as primary concerns. He said all the concerns would be taken up with the Enga provincial government.