Lessons the PNG parliament to learn from United Kingdom
by DAVID LEPI
Rishi Sunak wins the Conservative Party leadership race and becomes United Kingdom's new prime minister. Sunak, a Briton of Indian ancestry and practicing Hundu rise to power in one of the world's most iconic democracies as been a telling journey on the back of certain peculiar political events that saw 3 leadership change in just 2 months.
Whilst India celebrates Diwali - Hindu festival of lights - and Sunak's ascension to power in the Commonwealth's former empire there are two important lessons that Papua New Guinea must learn and learn earnestly.
1. Mass resignation of government members following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's unethical conduct.
2. Prime Minister Liz Truss voluntarily resigned because she couldn't deliver on her election promises.
Having said that let's have a quick look to the background to each of the above events.
In July 2022 when Papua New Guinea was in the middle of a stormy national election UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned following more than 50 members of his government resigned in protest against a series of ethics scandals.
Soon later in September 6, 2022 Liz Truss took over the premier's reign only to last to 25 October 2022. Washington Post reported that,"Truss' attempt to reorient the government’s economic agenda, by slashing taxes without saying how the decision would be paid for backfired. It sent the markets reeling, and Truss never recovered."
Truss lacked both the political will and support to follow through what she promised to the people.
Now back to our discussion some may of course dispute the relevance of UK's affluent democracy to that of ours but then what is ours? Hooliganism? Tribalism? If it is a parliamentary democracy that we adopted from the crown than we must at all times aspire to live out the true meaning of its creed.
And never forget the Kabwum down at government house. Regardless he is still King Charles III in a Melanesian body representing His Majesty's crown.
Now let's draw some parallels by juxtaposing PNG government"s past and present to the events stated above.
Boris Johnson's resignation following his cabinet's mass resignation is somewhat similar to PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill resigning in 2019 after much of his government members deserted him. O'Neill and Johnson did what responsive and responsible leaders would do to make space to listen to the plight of the people they intend to lead.
On this vein our learned and auspicious leaders can do the same and revolt against the present regime now when things have gone completely haywire.
At the same time it is safe to say Prime Minister James Marape is no different to UK's Liz Truss as far as foresight and competence is concerned. Marape should resign with at least some dignity for ruining his country's economy and failing his own promises that God knows how many.
However, Marape resigning is extremely impossible given the toxic morbidness in his leadership. It is a patriarchal cesspool of absurd notions of mantras and divine rights all wrapped in lies, spinning a fairy tale of mystical alchemy.
Simply, Marape's interest lies solely in holding power longer and making a name for himself as the longest serving prime minister- regardless whether good or bad- all on the expense and detriment of the nation.