The tide could be turning, says victorious Somare
It is with humility and deep endearment to my people of East Sepik that I give thanks to generations of families from Wewak, Maprik, Yangoru/Saussia, Wosera/Gawi Ambunti/Drekikir and Angoram for their unwavering trust and confidence over 44 years.
I started out as a member of the House of Assembly in 1968 when a young man by the name of Pita Lus invited him to start a political party.
Since then I have represented your grandfathers and mothers, your fathers and mothers and today I represent the thousands of youths that feel a connection to me and my leadership in this province.
No one in PNG has had the honour and privilege of representing different generations of people in any other electorate. Together we the people of East Sepik have again made history.
After I was unceremoniously and illegally removed from Parliament by a rogue regime I returned to the people of this province and sought their views.
They had acted without propriety, as it was not Michael Somare personally who was removed from Parliament. The people of East Sepik felt the pain and insult that members of parliament had illegally denied their right to a representative on the floor of parliament.
The overwhelming results of these elections clearly demonstrate their disapproval of the conduct of certain members of parliament.
I will not make a long statement; I only wish to say that your confidence over the years has enabled me to be prime minister again for the longest period of over nine years since 2002.
Under my leadership Papua New Guinea’s economy grew. Employment levels increased. We experienced years of growth in the construction industry. Investor confidence returned to our country. Old businesses in PNG reinvested and in places like East Sepik where we rely on agriculture our revenue from cash crops significantly increased.
Under my leadership millions of kina was pumped into districts through funds like the DSIP for development to take place in the rural areas.
Your support for me was at the provincial level yet my contribution has been at the national and international level.
Until it is my turn to depart permanently I will remain humbled by the people of East Sepik and their trust and faith in my leadership throughout out our growth as a people and a province in the independent Papua New Guinea.
I take this opportunity to inform you that my family and me will remain loyal and true to the people of East Sepik.
In front of all my children and some of my grandchildren that we will together continue to do what we can for the people of this great province.
At the national level I accept today that the tide maybe turning.
I will enter the ninth parliament with two National Alliance members of Parliament, Mr Jim Simatab of Wewak and the new member for Maprik, John Simon.
Jim Simatab is not new to parliament. I thank the people of Wewak for your continued confidence in Mr Simatab. And in particular I thank the people of Maprik for recognising the quality of John Simon as a vibrant young man who has already demonstrated that he will work for the Maprik People.
Once again I thank the generations of East Sepik People for your unwavering support. May God continue to bless our great province.
M T SOMARE GCL GCMG CH CF KStJ
- This speech was given by the Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare upon his declaration as the East Sepik Regional MP.