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Marape slams Polye for inciting violence in Hela

TARI PORI MP and Finance Minister James Marape has condemned Opposition Leader Don Polye of inciting violence in his election campaign in Hela Province.

Mr Marape said the Opposition Leader arrived in Tari town last week inciting violence and arguments instead of peace and offering alternate government policies.

Mr Marape said while he was hosting a few candidates for Hela Governor, including Philip Undialu, the opposition leader crept into a side stand hosted by a rival candidate to his official THE Party candidate.

“Among his usual debates on politics, he went very low in Tari to invite thuggery and violence by asking people to remove, tear and burn all PNC red shirts and caps.”

Mr Polye arrived with his entourage from outside as Mr Marape was leaving for Koroba for another program. But when informed about Mr Polye’s incitement of the crowd for violence, Mr Marape appealed to his people for peace and calm.

“We in Hela have started the election period well, unlike some areas of PNG that are experiencing election-related violence, and for a national leader in the long serving minister and now opposition leader to demand violence and destruction from innocent people demeans Polye’s standing as a leader of mature alternate policy,” Mr Marape said from Tari.

“You can come into my town and talk about what you can do to help my people, but you can’t force people to be violent. Take your violence to your electorate please,” Mr Marape said.

“We have a fragile society in Hela, and we are trying to promote peace despite our own differences in Hela, yet Polye, who says he has concern for Hela, stirs trouble. What kind of leadership is this?

“I ask Polye, a honest question as an equally mandated leader of my Huli people; you have been the long serving minister for works, transport and civil aviation, you have been foreign minister, higher education minister and treasury and Finance Ministers in 13 years since 2002. What have you started in Hela that you want to complete?” Mr Marape asked.

Mr Marape has taken to his Tari Pori Development Forum to rebut much of Polye’s arguments in Tari last Friday. Pictures of PNC shirts being burnt under Polye’s instruction are being circulated on various Hela facebook sites. He is appealing for Hela to rise above petty politics and allow peace to prevail, and asks Hela people to choose leaders without asking for money or voting for a tribal candidate.
Photo credit: Samuel Angai
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