PNG PROVINCIAL LAWMAKERS IN DRUNKEN BRAWL

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By Peter Korugl

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 3) – The first session of the Morobe Tutumang (provincial assembly) in Papua New Guinea last Thursday turned into a drunken brawl.

According to reports, the chauffeur of the Tutumang-owned bus was beaten up and the bus smashed by drunken members of the Tutumang during the brawl.

The brawl erupted in the carpark of one of Lae’s favourite restaurants resulting in the damage to the bus and the assault on the driver.

"Yes, the members fought among themselves in the carpark after they went out. They smashed their bus and beat up the driver," a staff with the restaurant confirmed last night.

The session of the Tutumang was the first in this term of office for the members and it got off smoothly on Thursday morning until it was adjourned for lunch.

The meeting was to resume after lunch but only three members including Lae MP Bart Philemon made it back to the chamber while many of the others carried on with their drinking until late.

The reports did not say whether anyone else was injured in the brawl but the Tutumang session was aborted to resume the next day.

The cancellation of the session and the drunken affair involving provincial leaders at the start of the new term of the current Tutumang embarrassed Mr Philemon.

Mr Philemon said managing time was very important and it was unbecoming of leaders to forsake their duties to party.

Mr Philemon stressed that good and honest leadership were needed in Papua New Guinea.

"I am just making an observation of what happened yesterday (Thursday) and I am not happy. What sort of image are we trying to project to the people?" Mr Philemon asked.

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