Morauta to stand again for PNG parliament

8:50 am on 26 April 2017

Papua New Guinea's former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta will contest the upcoming national elections after a term outside parliament.

Following months of speculation Sir Mekere confirmed he's nominated as an independent candidate for the seat of Moresby North-West.

The former prime minister retired from parliament before the 2012 elections.

But deep concern about the financial management of the country prompted him to indicate several months ago that he was considering stepping back into the fray.

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Sir Mekere will stand in the Moresby North-West seat Photo: linkedin

A trenchant critic of the current prime minister Peter O'Neill, Sir Mekere said his decision to contest the elections is based on widespread public support for him to use his experience and knowledge to help a new government put PNG back on track.

Earlier this month, PNG's Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch confirmed Sir Mekere's warnings of recent years when he admitted the government had allowed the country's economy to fall of a cliff with spiralling debt.

Meanwhile, Peter O'Neill called on Sir Mekere to resign as Chair of the PNG Sustainable Development Program and respect rules of the program that prevent active politicians holding a position on the board.

The prime minister has been in a bitter dispute with Sir Mekere since 2013 when his government expropriated Ok Tedi Mining Ltd from the SDP.

Sir Mekere said SDP had been disturbed by events in Western Province since the takeover, as money normally made available from the Ok Tedi mine for sustainable

development in the province had dried up, making a severe impact on people's lives.

He described the O'Neill-led government as an octopus, led by a network of politicians whose personal business interests conflicted with the national interest and their public duty.

"It is an octopus with many tentacles, invading every crevice, every nook and cranny where there is the smell of money," Sir Mekere said.