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Date Posted: Tue, Jun 05 2007, 06:08:08pm
What are Ipatas and Yawari’s policies ?
ENGA Governor Peter Ipatas wants to become prime minister. Southern Highlands Governor Hami Yawari also wants to become prime minister.
Apart from the other prime ministerial aspirants — Sir Mekere Morauta, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Bart Philemon, Paias Wingti, Peter O’Neill and the incumbent Sir Michael Somare — the people of Papua New Guinea have yet to receive any substantive national development policies from Mr Ipatas and Mr Yawari.
Both leaders keep talking about free education at almost every public gathering without offering any real sense of how “free education” will be funded. How much is “free education” going to cost the nation and where will the money come from. Every parent would welcome free education. But is it sustainable? Is it achievable? Is it realistic given all the other major challenges facing the Government?
Apart from free education, both Mr Yawari and Mr Ipatas have not produced any other policies on how they intend to lead the nation in the 21st century.
Mr Ipatas and Mr Yawari should be challenged by voters right across PNG to tell the people what their other policies are before the people can be convinced to vote for their candidates. After the declaration of election results and the return of the writs, the Electoral Commissioner will advise the Governor-General to invite the political party with the largest number of members elected to form the next government.
The party then has to go to Parliament to have that nomination test. Parliament can either elect the leader of that party to be prime minister or elect someone else to be prime minister. Mr Ipatas and Mr Yawari, like all other party leaders, must first ensure their candidates win the seats they are contesting. Once that is done, they can look at their chances of becoming the prime minister. Deputy Prime Minister Don Polye was right when he said both leaders should show humility and stop making misleading statements ahead of polling. The real challenge for all party leaders is to win seats first before talking about positions of power, not doing the reverse. The position of prime minister belongs to the nation and the man who occupies that post must have the support of the greatest number of Members elected to the National Parliament. That is the PNG system of government. No one can claim that chief executive officer post before the people have put their mark on the ballot paper. The people also want their prime minister to be a man of high personal integrity, humility, strong Christian and ethical leadership, a family man and a man of high moral standing.
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