Bougainville MPs Deliver First Post-Election Speeches

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Parliamentarians call for change, action from government

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 31, 2013) – A re-elected MP in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, Thomas Keriri, says the government has to address issues around marijuana growing and homebrew in the villages.

Mr Keriri, who was re-elected in the Rau by-election earlier this month, joined other new MPs in making his maiden speech in the ABG legislature this week.

New Dawn FM reports him saying that with poor returns from cocoa and copra people are resorting to illicit drugs and this must be addressed.

The new member for Peit, on the west coast of Buka island, Jerome Tsimoli Sawa, says there have to be changes in his electorate.

Calling it the last frontier, he told parliament Peit had been without a strong leader for a long time and this meant it had fallen behind other electorates on Bougainville.

Another re-elected MP, Dominic Itta, who won back the Kongara seat, says his time out of parliament was beneficial.

He says it allowed him to learn a lot from the people.

Mr Itta says he found that the government is too distant from the people and this must be addressed.

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