Why is PNG James Marape traveling to Fiji in the middle of a National General Election?

 Former PNG prime minister and Member for Ialibu-Pangia and leader of the People’s National Congress Party, Mr. Peter O’Neill said, “James Marape has booked a private jet to travel to Fiji on Sunday to attend the Pacific Island Forum meeting to push for China’s inclusion in the important regional group.”

“The Chinese Foreign Minister’s visit to Port Moresby during the NGE campaign period was highly unusual and I raised concerns at the time it was improper. We know that several agreements were signed during the State visit but to date, no details of these agreements have emerged. We remain in the dark why the visit was so important to disrupt the campaign of the Prime Minister?” continued Mr. O’Neill.

“On Monday evening, Mr. Marape met with Electoral Commissioner and asked for the counting in Hela to commence immediately and for Tari-Pori seat to be declared before he jets off to Fiji on Sunday. There are major irregularities and petitions being lodged in Hela, these need to be properly dealt with prior to counting taking place.”

“Let us hope our National General Election has not been hacked by a foreign party preying on the hapless, inexperienced and desperate James Marape,” said the ex-Prime Minister.

“China’s ambitions are for China, and I do not propose to lecture them on their Pacific aspirations but I am very concerned they are praying on a hapless Prime Minister, James Marape at a critical time in our nation’s democratic elections.”

“Perhaps James Marape is putting Papua New Guinea and indeed the region in a perilous position all because he cannot face the consequences of a free and fair election where he knows the voters of PNG will judge him harshly for his multiple failures over the last three years.”

“China should be respected and admired for their strong track record in trade with our country, but we must retain our sovereignty and not sell our future at the whim of a care- taker Prime Minister,” said Mr. O’Neill.

“The Pacific Island Forum leaders should be wary of the intentions of James Marape and discount his attendance on the basis he is a caretaker Prime Minister and has no authority to represent our country at international forums including at this important Pacific Islands Forum meeting.”

The level of disorganisation and interference in these elections is unprecedented and voter frustration is high.

“I make a plea to the Electoral Commissioner to act with utmost independence and to put our nation first and not play into the hands of foreign powers and James Marape. Hold your head high and act with full independence Commissioner Sinai and the Lord will offer you his protection,” concluded the Member for Ialibu-Pangia.

Next : PNG Elections : Northern polling officials stranded

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