Col Yara Sasa doesn’t have the political baggage that the Somare’s have. He has now entered a debate that was pretty much confined to the political elite. Sasa is now a political figure and not just a military man. He has a following amongst people who believe what he did was necessary to restore Constitutional order.
With the involvement of the military we now have polarization of both disciplinary forces into the different sides of politics.
Before the advent of Facebook and Twitter, Papua New Guineans had a form of social networking known as the Wantok System. The Wantok System is still alive and well and as other actors like Sasa get embroiled in the political saga, the Wantok network that gets dragged into the impasse enlarges.
The question of whether each side presents it’s case with sound legal arguments, now takes the back seat to social alliances. As the main protagonists drag on with their tortuous tango, more Sasa’s are likely to enter the fray as ordinary people become increasingly frustrated with the impasse.
The lack of leadership and statesmanship displayed by both sides opens the arena for third parties who do not have the political baggage of the main protagonists. Such third parties would have a greater claim of legitimacy than the main protagonists. And with the entry of third parties a growing number of people become politicized as they subscribe to the views of those third parties. This has been the case with the involvement of the mutineers.
The debate now seems to be heading beyond legal definitions of right and wrong and into the social inclinations of right and wrong based the social circle one subscribes to. This development brought about by the mutiny is dangerous as the issue becomes personalized, and individuals start defending the views of their social circle against the views of the opposing social circle. What began as a political issue is fast becoming a social issue and threatens social order throughout the country.
Perhaps it is fair to say that the nation is now more unstable than it ever was. More people are becoming politicized, polarized, and pissed off. It is imperative that fresh elections be held soon to diffuse the situation.