I AM NOT writing to defend Dulciana Somare-Brash against recent negative social media posts. She doesn’t need anyone to fight her battles. Instead I am writing in support of her.
I am writing because I believe there is a misconception that she is running for the East Sepik Governor’s post to replace her father, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.
I believe such perceptions are an insult to Dulciana’s intellect and professional achievements such as being the deputy director of the Pacific Policy Institute and attaining degrees in law and political science.
Papua New Guinea is a democracy and not a monarchy. Dulciana is a citizen of Papua New Guinea who has the Constitutional right and leadership skills that qualify her to stand for public office.
Her connection to the Somare family is a biological predetermination and not her personal choice. No one chooses the family they are born into.
It is therefore unfair on Dulciana to have the sins of her family members strung around her neck and dragged out in public.
No one should carry the blame for the sins of their parents or siblings. Every person including Dulciana should be judged on individual merit.
Christians know that salvation and judgement are based on individual faith and actions. If one is to apply the same principle in determining Dulciana’s suitability to hold public office, many of the accusations against her do not hold water.
Of course one must respect traditional cultural institutions and the delegation of roles and responsibilities of men and women within the village setting. But to assume that the people of the East Sepik automatically apply customary practices to modern political institutions is an insult to the intelligence of Sepik voters.
The voters of East Sepik have been some of the most progressive in PNG. Their faith in Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare’s vision of an independent Papua New Guinea gave birth to a modern democracy that has stood the test of time.
I believe the people of the Sepik are forward thinkers who see the great need for development policy expertise in PNG’s next parliament and are willing to help steer this canoe into the right direction.