SOMARE DANGLES THE POLITICAL LOLIES FOR THE POLLIES

…and they still don’t get it!

Last week the Prime minister thanked members of parliament for support that came from both sides of the House  during the passing of two constitutional acts – one for five new ministries  and the other to keep  the  20 provincial seats.

The “thank you” statement issued by the PM’s office,  while seemingly well intentioned, mocks the political prowess of his fellow members of parliament.  PNG’s 20 provincial seats,  one of which Michael Somare holds,  will be contested again in 2012  allowing him another shot at the   country’s top job. Somare  has always had a taste for the best of everything. The government which he leads, chose to buy the  100 million kina falcon jet  while Air Niugini continues to punish its customers with  dozens of delayed flights.  And he’s still demanding the best for himself! Political allies point out in hushed circles that his pride won’t allow him contest   the lowly job of the electorate representative. If he is in the position to make the rules then the rules must suit him. It’s interesting to note that he  has done it again. The seasoned politician has,  once more,  pulled a fast one  over his much younger political colleagues by getting   two thirds of the house to  agree  to two constitutional acts that not only  saves his pride  but also gives him a clear  run for the PM’s post in 2012.

That’s not all.  Those who voted  to retain the provincial seats  also voted to increase the number of ministries  from 27 to 32 – that’s five new ministries. But why do we need  five new ministries?  What many  Papua New Guineans still don’t realize is that it’s all about Somare and him being Prime Minister!   Somare’s push to consolidate present and future  power has led to the passing of these two constitutional acts that serve  his own political interests. He’s done it since independence  and he is doing it again by creating bargaining chips like “new ministries” and “vice ministries”  to simply hold on to power and the wealth of Papua New Guinea.

All this is up  against a backdrop of  uncertainty  stemming from loss of confidence  in Somare’s leadership  which is causing  the slow and painful  disintegration of the  ruling National Alliance Party.

In March,  the first hint of that disintegration  became public through the media.  Then a senior government minister took the unusual step  of telling   a blogger that “Sir Michael was hell bent on staying in power and was  paving the way to form a Pangu-led coalition. The Minister went on further to say that the National Alliance Party –  his own party – was not going to nominate him again for the Prime Minster’s post.

“The prime minister does not have the support of many of his senior ministers,” he  said. “He’s not listening to the advice of his deputies and he’s doing whatever he pleases.”

Apart from a few, political opponents,  the majority of  MPs are weak and disempowered by their own choice of looking out for political lollies that that Somare keeps dangling in front of them but doesn’t  hand out.

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About pngelections2012

PNG Elections 2012 aims to stimulate discussions about PNG politics and especially, the run towards the 2012 National elections. The 2012 el
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