Marape sworn in as PNG’s 8th PM

James Marape was sworn in as the eighth Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Thursday at the Government House by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae. Picture: POST COURIER

PORT MORESBY, 31 MAY 2019 (POST COURIER) – James Marape was sworn in as the eighth Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Thursday at the Government House by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae.

Members of the public stood and waved as a convoy of vehicles headed to Government House in Konedobu following his election on the floor of Parliament.

Marape was escorted by his wife Rachael Marape and key MPs who were instrumental in the movement that started for the humble change that took place Thursday.

He said the country has witnessed a smooth transition of power and transfer of government leadership from Peter O’Neill to him.

“To the amount of vote that was conferred to me is beyond words and I am truly blessed and honoured to have almost 90 per cent of Papua New Guineans elected representatives casting their votes in response to the nomination I received this morning.

“This is a country of many opportunities and blessings yet translations of those opportunities and blessings to our people has been systemically impaired for a long time,” he said.

He said the mandate he received has shown from both sides of the House of Parliament by responding to his nomination saying that is testament to views held by many leaders of the country that there is need to work in common unity for what is right for the country.

“I am part of Pangu Pati as I went to this party by invitation and choice.

“This party led us to Independence in 1975 but more so until today, for political independence, we are still struggling to economically free ourselves.

“Children and citizens are still burdened and want self sustainability.

“We believe that by rebranding this leadership under the Pangu Pati, we are driving a team to give economic independence to our nation.”

He said the call is hard, the challenge is big but nothing is insurmountable so long as the human heart is persistent in what can be done.

Marape said today’s leadership is all about harnessing talents and he is blessed with experience leaders who had been by his side.

“More importantly, we just have to mobilize the energy, perseverance, determination and drive the younger leaders to move this country to the next phase that this country truly deserves,” he said.

Marape commended his predecessor O’Neill for his leadership saying it was hard but he has gone out as a hero.

Meanwhile, Alotau MP Charles Abel took the opportunity in congratulating the new Prime Minister to slam the political maneuvering in the past 41 days that has caused instability and anxiety.

“I know the country has been greatly challenged, people held in suspense and they witnessed some extraordinary events happening on the floor of this Parliament,” Abel said.

“I think it is time we take a good look at Section 145 of the Constitution.

“We want change, change must happen, at the same time we must manage our disruption.

“The way we conduct ourselves politically and some demeaning outcomes that happen to leaders of parliament in relation to camping and driving around in buses, horse-trading and people moving backwards and forward, to say the least it is highly disruptive in the conduct of government affairs.

“We need avenues it is the intention of our Constitution that allow for changing of power, to hold the executive government accountable.

“I think that is what happened in this instance, perhaps not in the way that our founding fathers envisioned when you try to stop the mace from the floor of Parliament or camping weeks on end I don’t know if that’s exactly the way our founding fathers envision.

“Change of power particularly after only 18 months after receiving the mandate of the people, one needs to think carefully how you can build and foster a strong parliamentary system, allow parties to build policy foundations, take them to the election and get the mandate of the people and be given reasonable time to exercise that mandate and deliver those policies without horse trading and camping and that sort of thing happening.

“I apologise to the people for what has been happening, but having said that and I concur with the Prime Minister, it is time for a transition to the new generation with the support of the older generation,” he said.

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