(Western Highlands Development Forum - Facebook)
Below is the self assessment for the MBL electorate before the polling day this coming election. The analysis is made based on the previous election and the current state at hand for each candidates.
1. Koi Trappe
The incumbent MP is the most popular and preferred candidate before he became the MP through his community involvement in Peace Negotiation activities in the Baiyer and Lumusa area especially. His commitment to Baptist Union of PNG adds more value. Also, a good number of people are working in his Traisa Company who are from Mul, Baiyer and Lumusa are undividedly supporting him. This election, he is fully armed with his Services delivered to the people, there is a high probability of him winning the 2017 election. If Paul Paraka contest for MBL, there is a threat for him.
2. Sani Rambi
Former MP is still preferred regardless of him being defeated the last election. He is referred to as the 'Action Man' compared to the current MP with his Service Delivery and Cash Handouts mentality. However, the onus lies in the hands of his Nenga Tribesmen. He need to have the base. With him being rude in the last election, there is uncertainty exists in his clan. Nathan Wantape is a major political rival.
3. David Morris
In 2012, he started well in his political career. After spending millions of kina in 2012, his hard earned income, he was threatening his supporters. This election, there is speculation that people are afraid to support him.
4. Peter Koim
Not contesting this election after unsuccessful in previous elections.
5. Paul Paraka
The owner and principal of Paraka Lawyers has not publicly revealed whether to contest for the MBL electorate or not. Though he is said to involve in robbing the State and there is ongoing court case "The Paraka Saga" this is just a minor issue in Baiyer and Lumusa area. He is so famous in the BL area. Every people from kid to elderly knows him. His involvement in community peace programmes, compensations, funerals, etc etc are still active and fresh. He is a doer. He is seen as the next potential MP. However, in 2012 election, he was supporting Koi Trappe. Now the people are questioning him why he want to challenge Koi.
6. Michael Ekri
The owner of Michaels n Michaels Haulage trucking company is the one contesting the Ramdi tribe after Gabriel Michael, the Valuer General of PNG has withdrawn his intention. Heard Koiti Mel is also contesting but not confirmed yet anyway. However, Michael Ekri is the business partner to Koi Trappe. There is rumors that he is politically funded and supported by the current MP.
7). The Ukuni people
They have the numbers to win. That was showed in 2002 elections when Kuri Kingal was undividedly supported. Heard a long-time Baiyer District worker, Mara Wek is contesting representing the people. However, Dr Teng Waninga a lecturer at UOG is also contesting. If that's the case, There will be disunity and division among voters.