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Prime Minister and Pangu Pati Leader, James Marape today called on the people of Papua New Guinea not to vote for “money, relatives or cargo” in the 2022 General Election which starts on April 28.

He made the call on the third anniversary of his resignation from the Peter O’Neill regime on April 11, 2019, in sheer frustration at the way the country was being run.

PM Marape, on this day in 2019, resigned in protest at the way O’Neill was running down the country.

Reflecting on that momentous occasion, which paved way for the change of government in May 2019, the Prime Minister urged the people “to exercise your right to vote wisely in the 2022 elections”.

“Don’t vote for money, don’t vote for relatives, and don’t vote for people or parties who have sold your birthright,” he said.

“If I have not done well for this country, if I am not the leader of your choice, then vote in someone else who can do better.

“Pangu Pati, and the Coalition that I have worked with over the last three years – including National Alliance, United Resources Party, United Labor Party, People’s Party, Liberal Party, National Party, People’s Movement for Change, Allegiance Party, Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party, One Nation Party, People’s Labor Party, Social Democratic Party and others – have tried our best to stabilise our economy and restore credibility for this country.”

PM Marape said so much had happened since that fateful day of April 11, 2019.

“I never knew I was going to be Prime Minister,” he recalled.

“I resigned one-man because I was fed up with the way Peter O’Neill was running down our country.

“I saw, in the eight years I worked with him from 2011 to 2019, the greater propensity of his heart were not in the interest of country.

“Yes, he was doing some good, but the greater part of him was for personal gratification and gain and I could not knowingly remain in his government.

“For instance, he was a shareholder in companies he was giving contracts to, he owned the brewery at 17-Mile outside Port Moresby.

“I said to myself: ‘I’m serving a prime minister who is building a brewery which offers cheap alcohol to young Papua New Guineans – in a country in which alcohol causes so many problems’.

“I felt that the prime minister’s mind was not in the right place after eight years of him being prime minister.

“I thought my resigning would jolt him to reality and to right him, but fortunately, other leaders followed me and 57 days later (on May 30 2019), we had a new Government and I was given the honor of being Prime Minister.”

PM Marape said the country had been through a lot of political turbulence since he took office, the most-infamous being the failed no-confidence vote of November 2020, spearheaded by O’Neill.

“There were political challenges right up until the 18-month grace period of my election as Prime Minister was up in November 2020,” he said.

“There were economic challenges, there were COVID-19 challenges, but we have prevailed through the Grace of God.

“We have steadied the ship, the economy is moving positively and by 2027 we should see a surplus budget, and are now preparing the country for elections.

“ The country must not forget where my colleague leaders took the country back from.


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