PAN MELANESIAN CONGRESS WANTS TO UNITE MELANESIA

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 24, 2002 – Post-Courier)---The Pan Melanesian Congress (PMC) aims to achieve full political, economic and social integration of the Melanesian nations by the year 2025, if voted into government.

PMC president Ben Micah hopes for a Melanesian Federation following the European Union model, with a common currency, a Melanesian Parliament and common policies on environment protection, resource development, foreign affairs, security and defense.

Mr. Micah is re-contesting his former Kavieng Open seat lost to Ian Ling Stuckey in 1997.

PMC secretary general Philip Wori affirmed the policy via a press statement that said PMC had endorsed Middle Fly MP Cosmas Bitan Kuok to defend his seat.

Mr. Kuok, a sworn member of the Peoples Democratic Movement, had his name removed from the PDM list, but his name was seen among Pangu’s list of candidates.

"I am not worried about Middle Fly because my people will vote me because of me — not because of the party," he said.

Mr. Kuok heads a PMC line-up including Franzalbert Joku (Vanimo-Green River), Willie Obou Inaru (West Sepik), Gimson Paul Bing (Telefomin), Paul Aisir (Aitape-Lumi), Justin Lalamana Gaewele (Western regional), Max Hasepa Miyoba (North Fly) as well as an independent candidate in Robert Sai’i (Aitape-Lumi).

Mr. Wori said that the nine candidates have grouped under PMC because of their common concern about the lack of visible development in Western and West Sepik provinces that easily form a third of PNG’s total land area and are rich in timber and natural resources.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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