08th August, 2012
A WOMAN leader in Madang has thanked the people of Eastern Highlands for having the trust and confidence in a woman and voting her to represent them in parliament. The remarks are from Madang’s very own woman leader Mary Kamang and were made soon after the declaration of the duly elected governor of Eastern Highlands Province Julie Soso Akeke. Mrs Kamang who is also the President of the Madang Provincial Council of Women also contested the the Madang Regional Seat for the governor’s post in the 2012 National General election.
She was one of three woman candidates who contested the Madang Regional Seat but the only one who gave all 27 male candidates a strong competition.
She finished third behind the duly elected Regional MP Jim Kas and the incumbent MP Sir Arnold Amet, thus earning her the tag by many as Madang’s very own “Iron Woman”. Mrs Kamang said the people of EHP should be thanked for recognising that a woman could make a change and for making Mrs Akeke the first ever woman governor for PNG’s in Highlands. She stated that although several women like her had contested the elections, they did not make it. However, Mrs Akeke’s win and that of the two other woman MP’s Loujaya Tony (Lae Open) and Delilah Gore (Sohe Open) were breakthroughs for women in PNG, particularly the National Council of Women Network.
“…As the President of the MPCW I am so happy and would like to congratulate Mrs Akeke on her win. Many of us in the network had contested but had not make it but she as the president of the EHP Council of Woman did come through to now be the Governor of the province.
“I would also like to thank the people of EHP for recognising that woman can make a difference and for voting her in to be the governor of the province for the next five years. “On behalf of the woman and children of Madang and moreso as her big sister, I would like to once again congratulate Mrs Akeke on winning this seat,” she said.
Wendy Mora, another woman in Madang Town described the three women’s election victories as milestones for PNG Women in Politics.
When asked if the government should pursue the 22 reserved seats in parliament, she responded, ‘not necessary’ –reasoning women had proven that they are capable of entering politics through the normal process. She stated that if the three had done it, this was a sign of more to come in future including in the 2017 polls and even the upcoming local level government elections which are coming up next year.
Meanwhile Madang’s duly elected Governor Jim Kas has paid tribute to fellow woman candidate Mary Kamang for finishing strong in the quest for the province’s top post. Mrs Kamang had contested the 2012 National General elections under the care taker Prime Minister Peter O’Neil’s People’s National Congress (PNC) Party ticket. She was one of three woman candidates who had contested the seat. The other two were two Independent candidates namely Balim PokpokSumanop who is sibling to Retired Army General Jerry Singirok and Regina Sophie Kambe another woman leader. Mrs Kamang had got off to a strong start and had led when counting of the primary votes for the Regional Seat got underway at the Holy Spirit Catholic Open Hall two weeks ago.
[Post-Courier by By ROSALYN ALBANIEL-EVARA]