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Former PNG Foreign Affairs Minister Pato joins Prime Minister Marape's Pangu Party

A former senior Cabinet Member,  Rimbink Pato  has announced he is moving on from his role as United Party leader to join the Pangu Party.

"Now is the time for unity and esperience as PNG tackles challenging economic and social conditions." Mr Pato said. 

"I want to offer my services to the Pangu led Government headed by my former cabinet colleague, Prime Minister James Marape," said Mr Pato, who served as special envoy for the period during the transition to his leadership in 2019. 

The longest serving Foreign Minister in the history of Papua New Guinea, Mr Pato is a prominent constitutional lawyer and former chairman of a range of financial and business institutions. 

Mr Pato said he had joined Pangu with immediate effect.

"There is a lot of youth and energy in Pangu now," he said.

"I want to support Pangu Party from my base in Enga Province where my supporters in Wapenamanda have provided backing for my move. 

"Both Pangu and UP were the key political groups at the time of independence, and my move is intended as a merger of those traditions in the interests of the unity of the country, and stability of leadership for the future. 

"I am positive that I can effectively combine my support of Pangu's national and international objectives with my work on key proects such as the Enga Electrification project and the hydro project in the Tsak Valley and the continuing construction of key roads, bridges, education and health facilities."

Mr Pato has a long history of negotiating successful development agreements for PNG with Australia, Indonesia, the Peoples Republic of China, New Zealand, Japan, the USA and the EU. 

He maintains strong links with his former overseas counterparts. For example, his personal and professional relationship with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stretches back to the time Mr Morrison was Immigration Minister. 

Mr Pato has played a prominent role in the Pacific Islands Forum, the Melanesian Spearhead group and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group. He chaired the ministerial meeting with distinction during APEC 2018 in Port Moresby. 

Next : PNG PM Marape announces new look Cabinet Ministers

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