Papua New Guinea is at a crossroad – this adage has been used one too many times and probably looks overused right now. But there is no better way to hone in this simple message. Sometimes being blunt is the only way to make progress. You need to prune first to grow better. Sacrifice before making inroads and fail first to learn the true meaning and joy of success.
The five year term of the current PNG Government has ended with the 2017 National Elections now here. Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato announced the seven days nomination period from April 20 to 27, campaigning eight weeks from 20th April to July 8th and the polling period is 14 days, from June 24th to July 8th. All these has come and gone and today is D day, when the people of PNG vote for our new leaders for the next five years. A full listing of the dates for the National and Local Level Government elections follow the site visit http://www.pngec.gov.pg/news/2016/02/05/2017-national-and-llg-elections-dates
The past five years have seen much progress in development but it has come at a high cost. There has been no decrease in living costs and the rural majority still face an acute access to basic government services. The current Government has achieved much. Because it had access to high revenues. It also came into power as the PNG LNG project was blossoming, though the fruits of PNG;s first ever LNG project are yet to be felt by the rural majority. Government has gone into a spending spree preparing the nation to host the 2018 APEC summit, albeit at high cost to development aspirations and effective service delivery.
The Government that comes into power after the elections will decide if PNG continues on a path that is still benefiting a few minority at the expense of the urban and rural majority or one that is inclusive, responsive and accountable at all levels.
But like all world democracies the people have the power to decide the future – who gets into power and who forms government.
Millions of PG Kina has been dished out during this election. But at the end of the day, it all depends on us to elect the leaders we think are the best for our future. Current Government has done a lot though also has a lot of unanswered questions and issues to deal with. Under it guidance PNG now owes more than it ever has to World Financial institutions and the Kina has lost a lot of its buying power, while landowners are still waiting for hundreds of millions owed to them after empty promises by Government.
People are now more aware of issues affecting the nation than they ever were before. Social media has taken a more active role in development and keeping leaders in community, business and Govt in check. Now we look at Party policies than individuals. These are comforting to know.
Come election day, the people have the power to decide who we want in Government.
Today we decide our future. God Bless PNG