Speaker and Finschhafen MP Theo Zurenuoc says his primary role is to serve the people of Finschhafen, and then his other role as Speaker.
He said this last Friday during his maiden official visit to Morobe province as the Speaker of the 9th National Parliament, since his election on August 3.
Zurenuoc was welcomed by traditional dancers at Nadzab Airport before being driven to the Melanesian Hotel in Lae, where he had breakfast with Governor Kelly Naru, provincial administrator Kemas Tomala, and public servants.
|Zurenuoc (centre) with Governor Kelly Naru (right) and provincial administrator Kemas Tomala at the Melanesian Hotel in Lae last Friday.-Picture by MALUM NALU|
He was at home in Finschhafen at the weekend.
“I take my hat off to my beloved people of sweet Finschhafen for the confidence in my leadership and returning me for the second term as their leader,” he said.
“I will not allow my primary role as your elected Member of Parliament be absorbed or submerged into my other role as the Speaker.
“Brethren, stay assured that I will remain Member for Finschhafen, in the first instance, and then the Speaker of National Parliament.
“I will strive to deliver much-needed services to our people to improve their lives.”
Zurenuoc said he would remain neutral in performing his duties serving both the government and opposition, “thus leveling the playing for constructive debating of issues and proposed bills to ensure that Parliament, as a collective body, passes good laws for the benefit of our people”.
“Such practice, however, has been missing in our struggling democracy in the last decade and I will set out to restore some level of confidence in the office of the Speaker and National Parliament.
“This is because in order to meet the development aspirations of our people, I believe Parliament should function as a single functioning unit with a common vision whilst sharing views, experiences and ideas on development issues.”
Zurenuoc said his predecessor Jeffrey Nape had occasionally frustrated the opposition by preventing it from debating and asking questions of public importance.
“Therefore I, as the Speaker, also pledge to not only restore confidence in the office of the Speaker of National Parliament, but also to open up the highest decision-making house to our people,” he said.
“…I will continue to keep our people abreast with the developments and during my tenure, I am confident that our efforts will pave the way for a stronger and more-open Parliament in the days to come.”