24 Jul 2007

New MP in Papua New Guinea vows to speak out about West Papua

7:25 pm on 24 July 2007

A newly elected Papua New Guinea MP says he wants to raise the issue of self determination for the people of Indonesia's Papua region.

Powes Parkop is the new governor of PNG National Capital District.

He is also a lawyer and human rights activist, having headed an NGO called Melanesian Solidarity.

Mr Parkop says he respects the diplomatic relations the country has with Indonesia but he says he has a moral obligation to speak out about Papua.

"I will speak on the issue of West Papua so that it is raised as a serious issue in Papua New Guinea and in the region so it can be addressed, because this is a real issue. It's been pushed under the carpet for too long."

Around a third of the seats in the 109 seat PNG parliament have been declared so far.