I AM NOT RUNNING AWAY FROM ELECTORAL DUTIES: PM
Prime Minister, James Marape assured the nation that he was not running away from electoral duties, calling on citizens to distinguish between national and local interests.
Hitting back at the Post Courier, a daily local newspaper, which ran an editorial criticizing his Indonesian State Visit, PM Marape said he did not run away from electoral duties as claimed.
He said this in response to a scathing editorial attack on his State Visit to Indonesia by the Post-Courier.
PM Marape said the visit was long planned for, and what happened in his Tari-Pori Electorate the night before the Indonesia visit, was coincidental.
He said for the “once-respected newspaper” to liken him to Roman Emperor Nero showed how low the Post-Courier had stooped to.
“The Post-Courier of today is nowhere like in the past where it had respected editors like Luke Sela, Oseah Philemon and the likes and equally-distinguished reporters,” PM Marape said.
“The people of PNG yearn for the once-great newspaper of old.
“I do not dictate the newspapers nor give inducements to reporters and editors, like my predecessor Peter O’Neill who was known for.
” I did not run away from responsibilities, far from it.
“Police, and other agencies of Government, have been tasked to handle Tari-Pori and other national issues.
“Tari is not burning, as this Post-Courier claims.
” Three police houses were torched due to a tribal conflict that had police caught in the crossfire.
I may be MP for Tari-Pori, but I am Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, I have a country to run. I will not be localized to an event caused by tribal feuds that Governor, Hon. Philip Undialu and I have been trying to resolve for the last year.
“It was unfortunate that this incident happened on the eve of elections.
” The energy Post-Courier puts into criticizing Tari-Pori and me should be also put into many good things that are happening there outside of this spur of violence and arson.
“The narrow-minded Post-Courier editorial is so fixated on stereotypes that it cannot distinguish between national interests first as Prime Minister, and local interests second as MP of a particular area.”
On Post-Courier’s claims that the Indonesia trip was a” junket”, PM Marape said the number of agreements signed today disproved that.