PNG POLITICAL PARTY A SHADOW OF ITS FORMER SELF

Editorial

PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Feb. 25) - Pangu Pati ripping itself apart again. What’s new, the political veterans would say on reading the reports about Sir Rabbie Namaliu declaring himself party leader and Chris Haiveta standing adamant for his leadership.

The party that levered Papua New Guinea into modern politics and into self-government and independence is a sad shadow of its 1970s presence.

Now it is being fought over by a handful of politicians and their helpers in the lead-up to a possible challenge to the Government.

Depending on the ruling in the challenge to the election of the Governor-General, the parties could be summoned back to Parliament within days.

And the play for power will be on in earnest if and when that happens.

That is where the issue of Pangu leadership really counts. Sir Rabbie is still an acceptable compromise to many people for the prime ministership of the nation.

But he needs a party to be respectable. 

If yesterday’s maneuvers result in Sir Rabbie and his followers controlling Pangu, it will be an interesting card to play in the political poker that will be demonstrated in Parliament.

As a sideshow, it continues the saga of the two relatives by marriage being on opposing sides of the Pangu fight: Mr Haiveta and New Ireland Governor Ian Ling-Stuckey.

Mr Ling-Stuckey and his protégé, Kavieng MP Martin Aini have been battling against Mr Haiveta’s leadership. Whether they are on the winning side in this faction fighting is yet to be seen.

Mr Haiveta has been involved in powerful actions in recent times, with lucrative deals for Gulf Province flowing from his trips to Asia. The signs are that he has had support from National Government leaders.

Now it remains to be seen what influence the Namaliu/Ling-Stuckey group will have, with the Pangu rank and file and with the leadership of the Government.

February 25, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

 

 

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