PNG Election law outdated, says Atiyafa
11 October, 2018, 9:35 pm
PORT MORESBY, 11 OCTOBER 2018 (POST COURIER) — Papua New Guinea’s electoral system has lost its integrity and the Election Law is outdated, which needs to be changed.
Henganofi MP and chairman of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission Robert Atiyafa said this in Madang as the consultation on the Review of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections in the province ended on a high note.
“I ask the National Government and Parliament that after the review and the report is returned which is people’s report, Parliament must honour it and accept the report to see a change before the next National Election in 2022,” he said.
He said that the report would contain the aspiration of the people and whatever the majority view recommended, it would be incumbent on Parliament to accept it, adding the product of the review would also determine the qualioutty of leaders we have. He said in the past four national elections, the country faced major challenges, chief among those being the election-related violence.
Atiyafa also said that the Election Law has not been reviewed for more than 50 years since the days of the Constitutional Planning Committee, and that there are indications of the existence of loopholes.
“If we don’t look at change now to protect the electoral process, democracy, and the future of this nation, then we will lose everything and we will regret it,” he said.
In the meantime, he expressed gratitude to the key stakeholders in both Madang and Central provinces, including the political leaders, the provincial administrators, the provincial management team, PESC members, NGOs and the general public for their time, effort and support. The nationwide consultation is expected to continue to Gulf, East Sepik, and West Sepik.