Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today underscored the crucial role that “respecting the rule of law” plays in contributing to the welfare of Papua New Guinea. Responding to a query in Parliament from Enga Governor, Hon. Sir Peter Ipatas, regarding the possibility of involving the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in investigating the Lagaip supplementary election and the subsequent unrest in Wabag, Prime Minister Marape emphasised the significance of upholding legal principles.
Prime Minister Marape conveyed a message to the people of Lagaip and citizens across the nation, emphasising that understanding there is only one winner in an election is vital. While acknowledging that the responsibility of ensuring orderly elections falls on law enforcement agencies, he urged citizens to actively contribute to maintaining the rule of law throughout the country.
“The easiest and free contribution our citizens can make to our country is respecting the rule of law,” stated Prime Minister Marape. Expressing bewilderment at the disparities in election processes across different regions, he highlighted the need for consistency in conducting elections within established timelines, budgets, and legal frameworks.
Commending Governor Ipatas for seeking ICAC’s intervention in investigating the Lagaip election, Prime Minister Marape assured him of the government’s support in this matter. He acknowledged the governor’s right to file a complaint with ICAC and emphasised that the government stands ready to provide the necessary resources for a thorough investigation.
“I appreciate that Governor Ipatas wants to use ICAC to investigate matters pertaining to the Lagaip election, which is within his right,” Prime Minister Marape affirmed.
“You are well within your right to lodge a complaint with ICAC in respect to what is happening in Lagaip and the counting in Wabag.”
Prime Minister Marape pledged continued police support to protect Enga Province, Wabag Town, and the surrounding areas.
Prime Minister Marape urged the people of Lagaip and Enga to take ownership of the counting process in Enga, ensuring that it proceeds peacefully. He reassured that ICAC would take possession of the complaint, and the government would provide the necessary resources for a comprehensive investigation.