APSN Banner

West Papua independence leader Wenda elected ULMWP president

Radio New Zealand - November 24, 2023

West Papua independence campaigner Benny Wenda has been elected as president of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

This week, the ULMWP held its first ever congress in Jayapura, which was attended by 5,000 indigenous West Papuans from all seven region.

The congress was called in response to the ULMWP leaders' summit in Port Vila, where the leaders announced that they had unilaterally dissolved the ULMWP provisional government, angering many.

"The ULMWP has officially restored the term "Provisional Government" which had been removed/removed through the unconstitutional process that took place at the ULMWP Summit-II in Port Vila, Vanuatu last month," UNMWP congress chairman-elect Buchtar Tabuni said.

At the meeting, Reverend Edison Waromi was elected as prime minister and Diaz Gwijangge, S. Sos as head of the Judiciary Council.

Tabuni said that the appointment of executive, legislative and judicial leadership as well as the formation of constitutional and ad hoc bodies would be for a period of five years (2023-2028) as stipulated in the ULMWP Constitution.

Wenda, who is based in the United Kingdom, stepped down as ULMWP leader and Menase Tabuni was appointment as president.

Menase Tabuni's election was meant for ULMWP maintaining its presence and solidarity with the Papuan people on the ground.

"We must do this from within West Papua as well as campaigning in the international community," he said at the time.

Wenda said he was honoured to have been elected as the ULMWP president at this historic congress in Port Numbay.

He said he and Rev Waromi take their mandate from the people very seriously and together, they will continue to work to free their people.

"I have always represented the people of West Papua, but true representation comes from election.

"The people are demanding a choice, and we must listen," he said in a statement ahead of the election.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/503158/west-papua-independence-leader-wenda-elected-ulmwp-presiden