PNG Foreign Affairs Minister Faces Calls for Resignation over Lavish TikTok Video and AU$1.3 Million Trip to London

Opposition members and citizens are calling for the resignation of Foreign Affairs Minister Justin Tkatchenko following the release of a TikTok video by his daughter, Savannah Tkatchenko. The video showed her indulging in lavish meals and high-end shopping sprees during a taxpayer-funded trip to London to attend the coronation of King Charles III.

The trip reportedly cost PNG taxpayers, business houses, and aid donors nearly AU$1.3 million, with a delegation of 30 people accompanying the minister, including a former senior government minister.

In response to the backlash, Minister Tkatchenko defended his daughter’s actions and called out the “useless” and “primitive animals” who criticized her online. His response only served to further anger the public, who feel that their tax dollars should not be used to fund extravagant trips for government officials and their families.

Opposition Leader Belden Namah has called for Minister Tkatchenko’s resignation, stating that the trip was an unnecessary expense and that the minister’s response to the criticism was unacceptable. “This is not the behaviour we expect from our leaders,” Namah said in a statement. “We need leaders who are accountable and responsible with public funds.”

The cost of the trip has also been a point of contention, with many questioning why such an over-the-top number of people were sent on the journey. This incident has sparked renewed calls for greater transparency and accountability in government spending, and for officials to be held responsible for any misuse of public funds.

The 30 people arrive in Port Moresby at 4:45 am on Friday the 12th of May 2023

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