22 Dec 2006

New PNG party says government lacks accountability

4:27 pm on 22 December 2006

The leader of Papua New Guinea's newest political party says the country needs stronger leadership than Sir Michael Somare's government is providing.

Bart Philemon, who launched the New Generation Party this week, says the government seems content to live in the past because it's afraid of moving into the future and combating key problems dogging PNG.

Mr Philemon, who is credited with creating the monetary stability PNG has had in recent years through fiscal restraints, says the government has failed to develop medium-term strategies in priority sectors.

He says there are some big issues that PNG needs to take stock of

"The UNDP downgraded our development status from Developing Country to the least developing country - now we can't argue against that. There are clear indicators that we have not performed to standards and we need to take stock of those, be realistic and honest enough to admit that there's certain big areas of development that we really need to concentrate more on."

Bart Philemon