The Opposition: A way forward

By PNG Echo.

The coup government before Namah was left out in the cold
The coup government before Namah was left out in the cold

Apropos to the recent article penned by the Opposition Leader Belden Namah, it’s not useful to merely list the perceived wrongs of the government – most PNGeans would have their own opinions on those matters and be well aware of them.

PNGeans are looking for leadership.  The opposition is in no position to provide it.  It’s time for positive change

Seven things to consider.

1.The Opposition has been rendered impotent (admitted that in the article.)  There is little they can do to oppose any governmental excesses.  In other words, PNG, you’re on your own.

2. Whatever you think of the political strategy used to produce that impotence is neither here nor there.  The reality remains; as also pointed out in Namah’s article.

3.  It was Tokaut Tokstret (Ganjiki D Wayne of Sharp Talk) who once observed that in an organization, people who leave are usually disgruntled with the leader.

4. Namah has failed to attract any MPs to the opposition (except Tiensten – now in prison for corrupt activities, not a desirable fact when your fighting on an ‘anti-corruption platform).

5. On the other hand, Namah and has lost many MPs.  Consider: when he was Opposition Leader, prior to the August 2011 coup, he had the support of over 25 MPs – now he can count them on the fingers of one hand.  Once again, the reasons, fair or foul, don’t matter – it’s the reality that counts.

6. Namah’s political situation has gone from bad to worse – with the already set precedent, why would it be expected that the rot won’t continue?

7. If we look at global politics, leaders who fail are replaced.  Namah ,in any other context, say Australian, would have been replaced as Opposition Leader after the 2012 elections.

In Summary:

With the precedents set, there is no other way for the Opposition to gain efficacy other than to sack the leader and replace him with someone more credible and creditable.

In politics, numbers count – and the only thing that Namah has contributed to Opposition numbers is to their alarming depletion.  This has left PNG vulnerable.

Faith and loyalty is a fine thing, but Mr Namah, without his elevated National position, will still have the businesses he started ‘from his own back yard’.  He will still travel in private planes and bet more in a couple of days at international gambling tables than most PNGeans will earn in a lifetime – whereas, under his leadership of the Opposition, PNG can expect no Opposition at all.

Namah has had too much loyalty for too long – he’s grossly underperformed, been politically outmanoeuvred at every turn.  PNG deserves better.

It’s time to ‘Rausim.”

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5 thoughts on “The Opposition: A way forward

  1. If I was the Opposition leader, I would have taken Susan’s article here to reassess the situation of the Opposition Government. This would help to revamp and launch fresh approaches to providing an effective alternate government and to provide checks and balances that would open the door for concerned leaders to reconsider their stand on certain issues affecting the country. Dr Susan has placed a challenge. On the other hand, we see many MPs in the Government including back benches with a reason we can attest to “don’t wanna miss out”. Miss out on development funds as well as to satisfy personal fiefdoms. The latter is typical of leadership in PNG. At the end of the day, who misses out?? Whether we change the leadership or not the onus also falls back on leaders’ “liking” of which side of the house: a function of never to missout-corruption also involve. Finally, whether we have an effective Opposition or not, we still have the civil societies, pressure groups and other organizations that can put a government on its toes. PNG is not left alone when it comes to issues of good governance.

  2. Pride is at stake here for the Opposition Leader and this one prestigious position he will not easily let go off. From DPM to OP to ordinary MP, no way. This is the only ticket making his CV more credible and at least he has a title.
    Ego is something not easily to be relinquished and from a man of his stature, I doubt it!

  3. Either way, the loosers will be the people of PNG.
    I have a gut feeling that Namah resigns or steps down and say Sam Basil or Dr Marat or Polye becomes Opposition Leader anymore than two will join.
    A month or weeks before vote of no confidence, yes.
    Also towards issue of writs, most opposition MP moves to ruling party.
    What we need is development of strong political culture based on ideologies, democratic principles and Westminster practice and precedents and strong political party system

  4. The issue regarding the Opposition Leader etc is now a minor issue. Is there something more debatable, intelligent and sensational for decent PNGeans to dwell on which will affect their future and generations to come ? Eg, resettling of genuine refugees in PNG now supported by the Government ?..the 3 billion kina loan recently endorsed by a few leaders who might have compromise some decent provisions of our laws and policies..?