January riots: Is the political class listening?
'Kaunsela Meri' i sanap gen lo eleksin

Is Marape headed for a no confidence vote?

| Academia Nomad

A parliament in session Generated by AI  27 January 2024)
Parliament: where no confidence votes take place
(Fantasy illustration generated by Bing AI, 27 January 2024)

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea's long-serving senior minister Kerenga Kua yesterday announced his resignation from the Marape Coalition.

Since then people have been asking me whether this means there will be a vote of no confidence in prime minister James Marape.

Votes of No Confidence are a permanent feature of PNG politics. As a result, only two prime ministers have ever completed a full term in parliament.

It doesn’t matter whether you are founding father or a leader who has delivered high economic growth, PNG politicians love a no confidence vote.

Sir Michael Somare was removed in such a vote. Sir Julius Chan was removed. So was Paias Wingti. Sir Rabbie Namiliu failed to return as prime minister. As did Sir Mekere Morauta. Bill Skate was replaced. So was Peter O’Neill.

It doesn’t take a political scientist to make correct predictions about whether a vote of no confidence is on the way.

Anyone can say there’ll be a vote of no confidence after 18 months and be right 95% of the time.

This time it’s no different. Even if Marape had delivered everything we want, the politicians would have removed him.

Why? What is the real cause of a vote of no confidence?

Well some MPs are genuinely concerned about the affairs of the country. This is usually just a few.

The majority just want access to State resources. The vote of no confidence is a vehicle used by those who have no access to State resources to replace those who do.

So where does the 10 January riots and looting stand in this?

For a vote of no confidence, MPs need an issue. The riots are an obviously easy pick.

But if it wasn’t the riots, the Opposition would have picked one of many issues bedevilling us in PNG.

Issues are used almost as an excuse. The real reason is to gain access to State resources.

Reflecting for a moment on the 10 January riots.

Everyone has been held accountable for these except prime minister Marape.

As the head of government, Marape actually bears the highest responsibility.

About 10 public servants have faced suspension or sidelining, each having varying degrees of culpability for failing to prevent ‘Black Wednesday’.

The Police, the National Intelligence Organisation, and treasury and finance personnel also have distinct roles.

But the overarching responsibility for addressing issues such as job creation, quality education, price inflation and respect for the rule of law falls on the government led by the prime minister.

The events of 10 January reflect years of government negligence in addressing these and other issues.

Therefore, if public servants are accountable and so suspended from their jobs, the prime minister himself should be held to the same standard.

He should either suspend himself pending an inquiry or resign from office.


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Lindsay F Bond

So there, says prime minister Marape, as if to say, know the numbers.


Bosco Jonathan

I just want this selfish prime minister to step down and let someone caring enough take over and lead our beautiful country.

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