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  1. E. John Blunt
    E. John Blunt December 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    PNG on brink of ruin as government hangs in the balance
    On Monday 12th December 2011, the Papua New Guinea High Court handed down an expected 3-2 judgment that there was no vacancy in the office of prime minister on 2nd August, after a parliamentary vote of 70 to 24 to elect Mr. O’Neill with Sir Michael Somare in hospital in Singapore (Jo Chandler, Court reinstates Somare as PM, The Age, 13 December 13, 2011 refers). ”Sir Michael Somare is to be restored to the office of prime minister forthwith,” the court ruled.
    With this decision, the government of PNG has become unworkable. Allan Prentice (Professor Allan Patience (Teaches at Sophia University, Tokyo. He is a visiting scholar at the Asia Institute, Melbourne University), PNG on brink of ruin as government hangs in the balance, The Age, 9 December 2011 refers), in a recent opinion piece said that “this is especially unfortunate because the O’Neill government has shown signs of addressing serious governance failures that have plagued the country for more than 30 years.
    These failures have led some observers to think that PNG may be becoming a failed state.
    The omens are all there: escalating crime rates (including murder, drunken violence, illicit drugs, prostitution, burglary, carjacking); horrific violence directed at women (rapes, bashings, torture, killings); some of the worst maternal and infant mortality rates in the world; plunging literacy rates; collapsed health and education systems; endemic tribal warfare in the Highlands; land grabs by foreigners; unsustainable exploitation of natural resources; decaying infrastructure; massive administrative incompetence; and the breakdown of public institutions such as the police and the civil service.
    Each year the United Nations Human Development Index highlights that PNG is one of the most miserably governed states in the Third World. Equally worrying is Transparency International’s annual reporting that levels of corruption among PNG’s politicians, public officials and managers are among the world’s worst.
    That means PNG should be placed in a special category of ”ruined states”. Ruined states are the victims of corrupt ruling elites that cannibalise their states’ resources for themselves, their families and their tribal cronies. Glaring examples of ruined states include Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and Kim Jong-il’s North Korea. Leaders of such countries deserve to be labelled the ”new cannibals”.
    The Opinion makes for interesting reading noting very recent developments in PNG.
    The Opinion can be sourced at…/png-on-brink-of-ruin-as-government-hangs-in-the...
    Mr. E. John Blunt is a Procurement and Institutional Expert with extensive experience in leading public procurement reforms in a variety of international development environments. He is currently working with the Southern African Development Community Secretariat in Botswana.

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