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Unpaid monthly rent of $3,000 totals $19,655

By Winterford Toreas PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 16, 2009) – SPEAKER of the Bougainville House of Representatives Andrew Miriki was forcefully ordered to vacate his rented accommodation room last Friday due to unpaid rentals totalling PGK50,000 [US$19,655].

According to his executive officer Joel Tukana, Mr Miriki was given his marching orders by the owner of the house after the ABG Parliamentary Services had failed to settle the rental fees, resulting in Mr Miriki’s bills accumulating to PGK52,920.

The owner charges Mr Miriki a fee of PGK7,560 [US$2,971] per month, however according to a letter from the house owner, the Speaker had not been paying his rents since March this year.

Mr Miriki is believed to be in Australia, however his daughter was staying in his room when given the orders to get out of the house.

Mr Tukana was able to move the Speaker’s belongings to a house near the Buka airport. However, when the Post-Courier visited the house it was noted that Mr Miriki was only given a small room to temporarily use.

"As you can see, this room is very small and is not fit for a leader like Mr Miriki to use. Apart from him, there are also about four other families renting this same building," Mr Tukana said. He said this situation would not have occurred if Mr Miriki was using the Speaker’s official house which is on Sohano Island.

"The Speaker’s house is still being occupied by the former speaker Nick Peniai. If Mr Miriki had moved to his residential house we would not be facing this problem today.’’

PNG Post-Courier

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