WHY JAMES MARAPE MIGHT NOT BE A STRONG CONTENDER

....UNDER CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES AGAINST SURGING NATIONAL ALLIANCE TACTFUL AND CUNNING SUPPORT SCHEME

by BEKEI YESA

The graceful return of James Marape in the guise of a sudden saviour to court Patrick Pruaitch is just another National Alliance merry go around the twist.

James Marape, Sir Puka Temu and Douglass Tomureisa are all previously National Alliance party members who dumped Patrick Pruaitch to join Peter O’Neill. They have no credibility in their standing and should fade out of PNG politics.

When National Alliance was running the kitchen cabinet they were all having a good laugh. Just like Belden Namah who squandered millions of Kina through timber concessions with his master tactician Patrick Pruaitch brings nothing feasible to the helm of our national politics.

James Marape was a low-grade apprentice who got parked as Education Minister and made little until Prime Minister Peter O’Neill elevated his taste buds. Today he claims impropriety and insanity on the part of Peter O’Neill. One thing he forgets is that he has a dead conscience who only wakes up when he wants to ejaculate.

Sir Mekere Morauta who rode on the Structural Adjustment Program imposed by IMF and World Bank sold the people’s PNGBC to his cronies under privatization reforms. He even engineered the PNGSDP as his retirement exit occupation and cannot be trusted. A white collar neo-classical modern-day conservative who brought so many miseries to the plight of  Western Province people to this day.

These leaders have not offered any tangible solution in terms of policies and economic recovery package in their current so-called position as an alternate government. They have centred debates on one man and continue to drive hatred without innovation. They are nothing more than another Bryan Kramer’s version on social media.

Kerenga Kua another Simbu scammer who represented Grand Chief Somare paid himself more than K10 million Kina worth of legal bills is still shouting for more.  He brings nothing more than personal interest to match competing firms like Paraka Lawyers. He is just another screaming clown on the floor of parliament.

Look at the yo-yo Douglass Tomureisa who was the puppet for Patrick Pruaitch before entering politics. His task was to bring cash and manage National Alliance MPs as Chairman of Border Development Authority. When he became Forest Minister he could not plunder enough money as O’Neill kept him under full scrutiny. He has no integrity. He just did another backflip.

Solan Mirisim who got appointed Defence Minister and now defected was one of the worst performing ministers. He cannot even construct the national security language and wasted time trying to learn the art of ministerial oversight. He was put there out of respect although he never had the merit to occupy that office.

So they all arrive at Laguna in front of the camera and media just like the Hunters Football Club and strut their stuff by reasoning Peter O’Neill as being too dominant and very dictatorial. They expressed poor consultation, greed and bad management but forget that they stood by that same order for the last seven years without any concern.

James Marape goes for a lockout to draw the alternate government agendas. Patrick Pruaitch who orchestrated the squandering of K100 million Green Revolution under the National Agriculture Development Plan still does not have any development options to offer. It’s a shame. So both gentlemen try to draw a big circle of confusion against the speed of chaos and complications.

This year we have 6 months to tick off 2019 fiscal responsibilities as set by James Marape and Charles Abel themselves. James Marape for the last 7 years has been designing the National Budget just like his friend Patrick Pruaitch. They are now claiming mismanagement. How about K10 Million Aitape Township feasibility studies? What happened to that story and funding?

How about Tari Pori District Office for K20 million? Under National Alliance Government and as Education Minister James Marape got the highest RESI funds totalling K13.5 million. Under Hela Transitional Authority James Marape got K33 million and there is nothing to show on the ground! A young, articulate and possibly corrupt MP who made Governor Philip Undialu and himself win the 2017 National Election.

James Marape is dangerous for public finance management. He has no track record of managing wisely the people’s money. His combination with Patrick Pruaitch is the worst partnership designed to syphon off huge public funds. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has seen James Marape’s lust for money and prevented his full access.

This is the core reason why James Marape left People National Congress Party. If you look
at a couple of National Budget under James Marape, he has actually put in more money for his district. Projects like roads, district office and many different sectoral interventions were funded in millions at the request of James Marape.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is smart. He never trusted James Marape’s handling of big-ticket items. James Marape’s fervent loyalty to the Seventh Day Adventist does not leverage his accountability level above human desires. His exposure level makes him a standout catch 22.

He never cares about other leaders. He was so greedy. That is why Prime Minister Peter O’Neill created a strong mechanism to evaluate all funding requests and expenditure requirements. Imagine getting the National Budget to fund his District office in millions while other districts are watching and suffering? He is nothing more than an insatiable leader.

Many people are praising James Marape but he is not a saintly candidate to bypass the public fit and proper person’s test. In terms of Kroton Equity James Marape has to be honest. Prime Minister respected the decision of landowners acquiring more percentages into their current shareholding. The landowners did not agree on free carry equity so they are stuck in raising the equity finance.

This was an issue created by the National Alliance Government. The same government who allowed Exxon Mobil for not fulfilling the requirements of the Oil and Gas Act in doing the social mapping. The very reason why landowners could not get paid their outstanding royalties. James Marape and Patrick Pruaitch were the ring leaders who screwed the whole people of Hela, Western, Gulf, Southern Highlands and Central.

This nation must not forget the past because so many things went wrong under the same proposed leadership. Whilst Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is subject to the mercy of his parliamentary wing poor James Marape just does not meet the criteria for the nation’s top post. His hands are full of cobwebs and ashes of the fire that he needs to remove before anything.

With 2 years to go before the 2022 General Election, there will not be time to fix anything. Big announcements can be made but the time is too short to achieve anything. What is certain to take charge is witch-hunting and an attempt to lock in all opportunities for 2022 General Election. This will basically mean no clear guidance and focus over the economic conditions and socio-political aspects of this nation.

The people of this country must remember there are very few honest leaders who are not able to speak the truth but remain silent. This country also cannot afford to have another highlands leader as Prime Minister. The leadership must go to other regions. We are a diverse country. James Marape if nominated on the floor will not attract strong political support but regional sentiments.

The best alternative that James Marape has is to court Charlie Abel and work from within the government. Charlie is well placed to trigger a leadership change and keep James Marape as his number 2 if it is the wish of the PNC Party caucus.  Peter O’Neill can agree to this position without much hassle of debating why or how!

The loophole that James Marape and his defecting PNC rebel MPs must pass is the resignation issues which has to be dealt with by law. The Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates are very clear on endorsed candidates having won and voted for the Prime Minister. The MPs must vote in support of Constitutional laws, Budget and Votes of No Confidence. If they disagree then they can abstain.

But resigning from a political party is rendered as more complicated and will push them away from their core intention. They cannot effectively have peace since their individual matters can be referred to the Ombudsman Commission. The provisions for their resignations are clear. So far they have jumped without reasoning the law. It is likely that the Speaker and Registrar of Political Parties will come out clear on these matters.

The vote on the motion of no confidence is by party resolution only. Most of the MPs defecting have indicated resigning and still have no party. If they think they can vote on the nominated candidate on the floor of parliament then their votes cannot be counted. This is a serious concern and cannot be fixed with the way the leaders are behaving.

So the question now is can James Marape survive the test with Patrick Pruaitch? Well for the sake of our public they can but if they are guided properly. Otherwise, the numbers are tricky and record of changing the government in any vote of no confidence does not favour their rush hour drive to secure a feasible change.

In view of the current movement of MPs to Crown Plaza and Laguna, there are few things that must be noted. On Tuesday a notice to introduce a motion of no confidence will be introduced. This notice goes through a committee to screen its grounds. Then the committee will advise the sponsor or proponent.

The danger is that once the notice is issued the Speaker is likely to advise the house that matters before the Supreme Court relating to section 145 are before the courts. In that order, it would be wrong for Parliament to deliberate on those matters. Otherwise, it would be sub judice and the notice will be rejected outright.

Furthermore, the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates is very clear on the provision for resignation. There is a danger where those who resigned will have to have their resignation referred to the Ombudsman Commission. This means MPs cannot withdraw their resignations while under investigation.  They will remain part and parcel of the political party awaiting the outcome of the Ombudsman Commission’s investigation.

As it stands James Marape, Sir Puka Temu, Douglass Tomuriesa and Solan Mirisim are placed in a huge dilemma right now. They cannot vote against the Prime Minister and effectively are part of the People’s National Congress Party. Their resignations will have to be referred to the Ombudsman Commission. This process requires a longer period beyond the motion of no confidence. The same may apply to Sam Basil and his sudden Melanesia Alliance leadership.

In terms of the splinter People’s National Congress Party faction, their participation on the vote of no confidence are further derailed. They cannot vote against the Prime Minister. Besides they are bound to go by the party resolution. For those who are not comfortable with the votes, they can abstain. These are critical procedures that will denigrate James Marape’s chances.

Further away from conventional platforms James Marape has more headaches to manage. His candidacy will be belittled by the regional politics of this diverse nation whereby one Highlander cannot take it from another Highlander. That’s a dead end for James Marape. On that basis, Patrick Pruaitch and his team know well that James Marape is stuck.

The rush by National Alliance to support James Marape is tactical. National Alliance with its 24 member opposition must surround James Marape first and foremost. They blow the horns of psychological momentum and engineer the numbers whilst hoping for a crack in the government numbers. They know James Marape will be stuck so he has to relinquish his dreams to National Alliance .

So poor James Marape has a big wall to climb. He cannot be a strong Prime Minister candidate anymore. This means National Alliance must sell the comfort of taking him onboard and giving him the credence. In essence that opens the door for those opportunists embroiled inside Laguna to dash for freedom again after noticing their favourite brother is doomed.

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