PNG Ombudsman Commission receives complaints on MP Tkatchenko

Justin Tkatchenko

The Papua New Guinea Ombudsman Commission says it has received an “avalanche of complaints” from people against Moresby South MP and sidelined Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko for the “primitive animals” comment he made last week.

A statement from the commission yesterday confirmed that there was a meeting with Tkatchenko on Monday after the public outcry regarding the comment he made on the Australian media.

The commission reminded him of Section 27(3)(a)(b) of the Constitution that as a public figure, his first responsibility should be to the people he represents or on whose behalf he is working.

“A leader’s first loyalty must be to his office and not to himself, and that responsibility must override self-interest,” the statement added.

“The commission, in its endeavour to promote good governance and accountability from its leaders, reiterates to all leaders that their loyalty to the office must spring from their genuine concerns for the country.

“It is always expected of a patriot that he will put his country’s interest before his own.

“In the event of any conflict of interests, the interest of the people he serves must prevail over his own personal interest. The higher the office held, the more serious the office holder’s responsibility.”

Meanwhile, the commission could not disclose to the public if any investigation into the complaints had begun. It said the commission was “subject to confidentiality of all its investigations, and has a duty to protect its independence, impartiality and integrity at all times in the process of discharging its Constitutional duties and functions”.