Bougainville News : 10th PNG Parliament will play an important role in Bougainville’s drive towards self-determination.

” PNG PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill is looking forward to “vibrant debates” in Cabinet over the next five years after welcoming 20 new faces during its first meeting yesterday.

Of the 33 ministers sworn in on Wednesday, 13 including himself were in the previous Cabinet.
During yesterday’s meeting at the Sir Manasupe Building in Port Moresby, the new ministers were briefed on the National Executive Council processes and protocols.

Cabinet also discussed “legislative expectations for current term of government”.
“Being sworn in as a minister by the governor-general, and taking a seat on the National Executive Council, is one of the most important roles in Government,” O’Neill said.

“Serving as a member of the NEC carries an enormous responsibility and I have great confidence in the ministers of our Government.”

PNG NEWS August 11

Momis Congratulates O’Neill

President John Momis of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville has formally written to the Prime Minister, the Hon. Peter O’Neill to congratulate him on his re-appointment to the Office of Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

In his letter, President Momis emphasised the need for continued cooperation and for both governments to work together to jointly address challenges. His letter emphasised the need for continued close engagement in relation to the forthcoming referendum, and the importance of ensuring that autonomy arrangements work effectively.

The formation of the tenth Parliament of Papua New Guinea will play an important role in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville’s drive towards self-determination.

Bougainville’s referendum will be held during the term of this current parliament and it is vitally important that preparation are undertaken to ensure that both the National Government and Autonomous Bougainville Government are ready to face the task ahead.

“It is equally important that Bougainville’s autonomy arrangements operate effectively as intended by the PNG Constitution,” Momis said.

“Amongst other things, this will be essential if Bougainvilleans are to have a real alternative to independence to consider when the referendum is held,” President Momis stated.

President Momis also outlined several concerns of the ABG that must be addressed; this includes outstanding funding from the Restoration and Development Grant that are needed for the autonomy arrangements to function and has requested the intervention of the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill on the issue.

Another issue that President Momis highlighted was the reconvening of the Joint Supervisory Body meeting as soon as possible.

The last JSB meeting was supposed to happen in March of this year but the meeting was deferred as the national government were preparing for the National General Elections.

In advance of the JSB meeting the Governor General is expected to sign the Charter to establish the Bougainville Referendum Commission; officers from the two governments have been developing the draft Charter for some months now.

President Momis revealed that the ABG has already given attention to the question of the persons that it will be nominate as members of the commission and hopes that national government side will also make its nomination by the time the JSB meets.

Another prominent issue that President Momis hopes the Prime Minister will pay regard to is Bougainville Copper Limited shares divested by BCL to the national government in July 2016.

President Momis said he was looking forward to be working closely with the Prime Minister and his ministers to implement the Bougainville

Peace Agreement and ensure that the people of Bougainville exercise their right to self-determination.

The Bougainville House of Representatives looks forward towards forging closer and better cooperation and relationship between our two Parliaments

” To build the country we now call PNG took the foresight, dedication and commitment of a host of early leaders – from simple, selfless ordinary villagers to community leaders to traditional and tribal ‘big men’ from the Highlands who ran for office and served their people as elected  leaders. 

Some of them couldn’t read very well but that didn’t matter because they could think, see, listen, reason and talk earnestly about their roles as their peoples’ mouthpieces.

There are many countries – developed, developing and under-developed, so to speak, that are in far worse quandaries and facing far worse circumstances than PNG. We live in a relatively peaceful region of the world. PNG is a leader in the region in many respects.

My plea to our National Government – and let’s include our Autonomous Bougainville Government as well – is to improve its governance and performance.

The politician’s worst fear should be that they might let their people and the country down. Under the leadership code it is misconduct in office if the leader is acting in ways, doing things that amount to deeming the integrity and respect of the office of a member and of the country.

The Bougainville House of Representatives looks forward towards forging closer and better cooperation and relationship between our two Parliaments, between our two Speakers with our two Clerks, between our members of our respective Parliaments and, most of all, between our two Governments. “

Simon Pentanu Bougainville Speaker of the House

I’ve had the privilege and honour of serving many parliamentarians in our country’s pre-independence House of Assembly 1969 – 1975 and the National Parliament 1976 – 1993. The time and calling was very rewarding serving elected members – including a number of Speakers – at the highest echelons of leadership. It was a rewarding twenty five years. 

One of the many former MPs I’ve had the great opportunity to know, serve, learn from, travel with and represent the country through my time with PNG’s National Parliament was Sir Barry Holloway, one of the original founders of Pangu Party.

Sir Barry served the people of Eastern Highlands Province in the pre-Independence House of Assembly and in the National Parliament following Independence in 1976.

As the last Speaker of the House of Assembly, Sir Barry presided over the National Constituent Assembly meetings that adopted the PNG Constitution in August 1976. He became the first Speaker of PNG’s First National Parliament at transition when the Territory of Papua AND New Guinea became the Independent State of Papua New Guinea as the new nation came into being on 16 September 1976. 

To build the country we now call PNG took the foresight, dedication and commitment of a host of early leaders – from simple, selfless ordinary villagers to community leaders to traditional and tribal ‘big men’ from the Highlands who ran for office and served their people as elected  leaders. 

Some of them couldn’t read very well but that didn’t matter because they could think, see, listen, reason and talk earnestly about their roles as their peoples’ mouthpieces. 

Some couldn’t speak fluent English but this was never a handicap because they had more than one lingua franca to pick from to express their views. 

A few may not have had the writing and reading skills but this was a time when you could find out and know more about what was going on by listening to radios territory-wide and nationwide which broadcasted in Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu by dedicated broadcasters.

Foresight, dedication and commitment were qualities all members, including the early Speakers of the House like Sir John Guise, Sir Barry, Sir Kingsford Dibela, and Sevese Morea had in spades. It was a privilege to know all of them. After the early Speakers in the old Parliament downtown it was a privilege to serve as Clerk with others Speakers in the new Parliament House at Waigani, among them Timothy Bonga, Brown Sinamoi, and for a very brief time, Bill Skate.

It is something I will always hold dear – that a career took hold shape and took shape serving among such men (though too few women). They were proud times. What an opportunity to grow up and serve the leaders and the country! 

And there is no reason why it cannot be the same today with our leaders and the country if we stop being negative, abusive and disrespectful.   

There are many countries – developed, developing and under-developed, so to speak, that are in far worse quandaries and facing far worse circumstances than PNG. We live in a relatively peaceful region of the world. PNG is a leader in the region in many respects.

My plea to our National Government – and let’s include our Autonomous Bougainville Government as well – is to improve its governance and performance.

Good governance means protecting, maintaining, improving, strengthening and respecting state institutions, particularly oversight institutions. The highest oversight and accountability institution in the land is the Parliament. It begs the question: do our parliamentarians know this? The new Government should know this, it must.

My plea to the Opposition is that it cooperates wherever it can see a chance to address the very real issues confronting the country. This often means resisting to take political positions when it concerns matters of common interest on which the House is required to take decisions on. This is often difficult in times of vexatious politicking but it is not impossible given our Melanesian tradition of consensus decision making.

Every parliamentarian shares a common interest in improving the lot of the people of Papua New Guinea. All parliamentarians also have a duty to ensure that the role of the Legislature to keep the Executive accountable for its decisions must be upheld. Regular parliament meetings and debates are a feature of Parliaments and Governments that have a good track record of maintaining  respect and comity between the these two arms of Government.

We all know in our hearts that things can be solved with consensus and a sensible approach to negotiation – and that must include cooperation across the political divide. Nothing beats meeting in a room and talking across the table to each other, not talking at and about each other in absentia.

The politician’s worst fear should be that they might let their people and the country down. Under the leadership code it is misconduct in office if the leader is acting in ways, doing things that amount to deeming the integrity and respect of the office of a member and of the country. 

Despite the feeling of tension and doom that grips the country leading up to, during, and following elections, I will always have fond memories of many politicians and parliamentarians, past and present, who put the country first . 

There is growing genuine concern that dedicated, conscientious, good politicians may be diminishing in numbers. Improving the quality and accuracy of the electoral roll and educating voters about the democratic process could help solve this enduring issue.

The Bougainville House of Representatives looks forward towards forging closer and better cooperation and relationship between our two Parliaments, between our two Speakers with our two Clerks, between our members of our respective Parliaments and, most of all, between our two Governments. 

It is important that both our Governments and our respective Parliaments work critically and genuinely hard at forging greater cooperation. Members of both our Houses deserve to work in closer cooperation and have meaningful contacts and dialogue at political and parliamentary level. The political arrangements between the National Government and Bougainville beholds us to do this.

I look forward to do so with the Speaker of the Tenth National Parliament, the Hon. Job Pomat MP. 

 This can be done with respect and dignity in much the same way as some of us have done so in the past working with former PNGNP Speakers, and with the same spirit of getting the best out of our human understanding in the knowledge that we will be doing this for the benefit and greater good of our Legislatures and our elected leaders.

 If we just sit down and only talk or complain, nothing will give or happen. The only way to get another person to do something – good or bad – is to make that person want to do it.

 

 

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