Papua New Guinea minister resigns over coronation cost controversy | world news

Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister has resigned following controversy over the size and spending of the country’s delegation to the king’s coronation.

Justin Tkatchenko said in a statement that he had “kept away” after consulting with the Commonwealth country’s Prime Minister, James Marape.

“I want to make sure that recent events don’t interfere with official visits and summits that we are going to have with all world leaders in the coming weeks,” Tkatchenko said, referring to a summit that will take place. takes place in the Pacific Island country. nations on May 22.

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“I also want to make sure the truth about this matter is clear and that misinformation and lies are corrected,” he added.

Local media had reported that the 30-person delegation who attended the coronation received an allowance of 50,000 kina (£11,240) to cover hotels and airfare.

“Insane number of delegates for overseas trips, for so-called meetings, but no funds for basic human rights services,” Esther Kila wrote on the PNG Post Courier. .

Government spokesman Bill Toraso denied media reports that the Governor General’s office had spent three million kina (£659,200), but confirmed to Reuters news agency that 10 of his staff traveled to London, along with 10 guests.

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Mr Tkatchenko’s daughter Savannah, who accompanied him in place of a wife, had become a focal point of local anger over the perceived excesses of the country’s delegation after he posted discussions on social media about the luxury purchases before boarding a flight in Singapore.

Following criticism of him, Mr Tkatchenko told Australian television that the people attacking his daughter were “primitive animals”.

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Mr Marape apologized to Mr Tkatchenko’s family for what he called “the traumatic experience of the past few days”.

“No woman deserves to be treated the way Savannah has been treated for the past few days,” he said.


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