Marape Calls for Strong Policy Alternatives from Opposition, Not “Smear Campaign”

Tuesday 20 February, 2023

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape addressed the nation on Sunday, urging his rivals to “cease their smear campaign” and focus on presenting concrete policy alternatives ahead of a potential vote-of-no-confidence.

He called on his critics  to  present  their substantial alternative policies,  emphasizing the need for a constructive debate on solutions rather than personal attacks.

The Prime Minister highlighted his government’s achievements, including securing greater resource ownership for PNG, boosting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and launching educational programs for dropouts.

“We are enabling Papua New Guineans to more actively participate in forestry, fisheries, and agriculture, and providing more support to SMEs to ensure their economic empowerment. These programmes are not just for today but for the long haul,” Mr Marape said.

Prime Minister Marape challenged the alternate Prime Minister Hon. Allan Bird: “Enough of this smear campaign,” Marape stated, questioning Bird’s record on job creation in his own province.

 “Leadership must be grounded in tangible results and integrity,” PM Marape added.

“ My government has supported the East Sepik Provincial Government with substantial funding of K340 million secured from the European Union,” Mr Marape stated.

Prime Minister Marape defended his cabinet’s stability and welcomed the recent defection of former opposition leader Joseph Lelang to his Pangu Pati, portraying it as a vote of confidence in his economic policies.

He challenged his critics to present better policy options, stating: “I wish them luck, but advise that if they aim to govern, they must present better policy options than ours.”

Listing accomplishments such as reintegrating school dropouts, creating jobs, and securing favorable resource deals, Marape defended his record.

 He emphasized the operationalization of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and improvements in healthcare infrastructure.

“We have not wasted time; we have been actively working. Our achievements include reintegrating over 100,000 school dropouts into second-chance learning programmes, creating over 100,000 new jobs in the past four years, and significantly supporting SMEs,” Marape stated.

“Our fight for our resources has resulted in favorable outcomes, such as the Porgera project, which now has a 51/49 percent ownership split in favor of Papua New Guinea.”

“We’ve ensured that provincial governments, including Allan Bird’s East Sepik, receive unprecedented support,” he stated, reiterating the need for tangible results before aspiring to national leadership.

Acknowledging the challenges of COVID-19, the Ukraine war, and political instability, Prime Minister Marape expressed his commitment to economic growth and service delivery.

“We remain undeterred by the vote-of-no-confidence and dedicated to our work.”

Leave a Comment