Papua New Guinea minister quits over luxury Coronation trip controversy


May 13 (BBC/GNA) – Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister has quit after a controversy over spending on the country’s official delegation at King Charles III’s coronation.

Justin Tkatchenko travelled with his daughter Savannah, who posted a TikTok showing her first-class plane journey and shopping spree in Singapore.

On Wednesday, he branded her critics “primitive animals”.

Mr Tkatchenko’s comments sparked protests in the capital Port Moresby on Friday outside Parliament House.

Papua New Guinea is a Commonwealth nation in the Pacific which has King Charles as its head of state.

In a statement on Friday, Mr Tkatchenko said he “stood aside” after consulting with Prime Minister James Marape.

He added that he wanted to ensure recent events did not interfere with upcoming official visits by US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I also want to ensure the truth of this matter is cleared and the misinformation and lies are corrected,” he said.

Mr Tkatchenko and his daughter were criticised for travelling with at least 10 officials to see the coronation of King Charles, at a cost of almost $900,000, according to local newspaper Post-Courier.

Government spokesman Bill Toraso confirmed to the Reuters news agency 10 of its staff had travelled to London, alongside 10 guests.

In the since-deleted video, Savannah filmed her visit to luxury fashion stores in Singapore and her meal in the “stunning” first-class lounge on her way to London.

This prompted anger in Papua New Guinea, where some argued that public money would have been better spent on basic services.

GNA/Credit: BBC


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