January 11, 2016

PNG Opposition vows to provide better leadership starting 2016

Papua New Guinea Opposition Leader Don Polye says he is adamant the alternative government’s New Year resolutions will provide a ‘new culture of leadership’ for the country.
“Our core business this year is to wrestle and debate with the government in policy and decision matters at many forums, including the floor of Parliament to ensure common goodness in our society is achieved for the betterment of PNG.
“Our alternative government plays an important part in our democracy to ensure the ruling party does not ‘sabotage or undermine’ rule of law, good governance, transparency and accountability for a corruption-free country,” said Mr Polye.
He said ‘in order for us to achieve all these this year, we have to do the following;
1. Promotion/Restoration of Rule of Law, Constitution and Law and Order.
-In this term of Parliament, our laws have been breached time and time again, our rule of law and democracy have been undermined, systems of governance compromised, good governance, transparency and accountability overlooked.
- These are the values and pillars which hold the fabrics of our country intact.
-With these values being undermined, most of our founding fathers like Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare, Sir Julius Chan and other former Prime Ministers joined voices with our alternative government in criticizing the government. 
-Our alternative government believes that development can only be a by-product of compliance to the values and rule of law.
- We have observed that most of the Parliamentarians in the government have put materialism ahead of these values which ‘money and precious jewels can never buy nor sell.’
2. Promotion of Common Interests, Church partnership and upright leadership and way of life
3. Improvement of Living Standard for All.
-We will ensure the livelihood of 8 million plus people is improved.
-We will ensure national wealth is equitably distributed 
4. Independence of systems of governance and Strengthening systems of service delivery
-We will ensure there is no compromise of these neither for business greed nor for political convenience
5. Zero-Tolerance on Corruption
-We will ensure we aggressively fight corruption to improve the worsening global corruption index of PNG
6. Financial Autonomy of the three-tier systems of government
- Decentralizing financial powers from Waigani to the provinces, districts and local level governments, including the powers to collect Goods and Services and income taxes.
- Such autonomy will will enable the other levels of government in the country to develop their local economy and strengthen their systems of service delivery.
“The Opposition has only been able to respond briefly to O’Neill meaningless abuse. 
“We have not handled key issues such as the massive budget deficit, failure to respond comprehensively to drought and famine which is starving the nation, or betrayal of the agreement to support the Bougainville Government as it rebuilds the Region,” he said.
He said they should respond systematically through 2016 – to offer the people an honest, competent alternative to build their future.
He further said following are the others that they would be advocating on:
• Restore land to our communities where it has been misappropriated;
• Strengthen capacity to enforce the Leadership Code for honest leadership;
• Ensure an honest General Election which truly reflects the interests of our people; 
• Support the people and Government of Bougainville by giving them their full entitlements; 
• Devolve financial autonomy to provinces, districts and local-level governments including power to collect taxes and income to develop their local economy and strengthen accountability to their people; 
• Advise the Auditor-General to audit the proceeds from LNG sales, to determine who is benefiting; 
• Support the police and judiciary as they move to lawful government;
• What belongs to the people, such as pensions, must be given to them; and
• Make Parliament a place where national issues are thoroughly debated.
Our alternative government believes a change in government in the New Year is ‘a win for the majority of our people.’
With this, we wish you all a safe and Prosperous New Year.