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O'Neil told seat is safe no need to campaign

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister  Peter O’Neill has thanked the people of Ialibu-Pangia for supporting him as their MP in the past 15 years, and seeks their endorsement for another five-year term.

As a show of support, the Yaro tribe led by Ben Jope paid his K1000 nomination (US$314) fee to Returning Officer Michael Ariando last Friday.

In addition, East Pangia local level government president Daniel Piopo said there was no need for O’Neill, to campaign as it was a foregone conclusion that he would win the seat for a fourth time.

He said the 68 councils “declare today that our prime minister must go back”.

“Prime minister, you are the champion,” Piopo said.

“We are sending you back to be the prime minister.”

O’Neill said the nomination process allowed everyone the right to contest the election.

“This is good, but it is not an easy job,” he said.

“I want to thank the people of Ialibu-Pangia for giving me their support for the last 15 years, with no evidence of foul play in the ballot boxes.

“You have created history and have shown a good example to the rest of the country.

“Our work has not ended – we have just begun.”

Meanwhile, the ruling People’s National Congress party has dropped Hela Governor Francis Potape from its list of candidates to contest the 2017 general election.

He was not named for either the regional seat (for governor) or the Komo-Magarima seat.

O’Neill announced the list of the party’s candidates at Pangia on Friday.

He said Tari-Pori MP James Marape would lead a strong team in Hela.

He announced that Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP Philip Undialu would contest the Governor’s seat which the late Anderson Agiru won in 2012. The party is putting up Edward Alina for Potape’s Komo-Magarima seat, while Isaac Matiabe will replace Undialu in Koroba-Lake Kopiago.

“This is a very-strong four-man team for Hela,” the prime minister said.

Meanwhile, provincial administrator William Bando said Potape had no power to suspend him as per the directive from Personnel Management Secretary John Kali.

Bando told The National yesterday he remained the provincial administrator for Hela, according to Kali.

“Governors and provincial executive councils have no power to hire and fire – only the National Executive Council based on advice of the secretary for the Department of Personnel Management,” Bando said.

He has just signed his four-year employment contract.... PacNews

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