Elections Feed

The complex challenges of leadership in PNG

“Every man has his good side,” Marape says of O'Neill. “But as time progressed, power got into his head, and his heart shifted away from the main goalpost"

Oneill marape
Marape says of O'Neill: "Some of us reached the tolerance rate where we can’t be part of that sort of regime where you make a call and you expect everyone else to follow"

HAMISH McDONALD
| The Saturday Paper

MELBOURNE - As Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape was working the tables at a hotel gathering of his Pangu Party in Goroka, a heavily drunk man was making a nuisance of himself.

Burly police bodyguards moved in for a rough eviction. But then Marape saw the man, walked closer, embraced him, and got him to sit quietly in a corner. The prime minister had recognised an old high school classmate.

Continue reading "The complex challenges of leadership in PNG" »


On election violence & unaccounted billions

Only seven of Papua New Guinea’s 65 government agencies have reported how they have spent billions of public funds provided to them in the budget since 2016

The Money Tree by Channell Arivai
The Money Tree (painting by Channell Arivai)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The delivery of a peaceful election is a shared responsibility that requires broad-based leadership, says Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG).

It says a free and fair election will require a concerted effort by the police, defence force, correctional service and some government agencies working alongside the electoral commission.

Continue reading "On election violence & unaccounted billions" »


Pre-poll incidents foretell election violence

One key test for PNG’s fragile democracy will be women’s political representation. PNG is one of only three countries to have no female legislators in its national parliament

Election and security officials plan the movement of supplies  2017 (Commonwealth Secretariat)
Election and security officials plan the movement of supplies,  2017 (Commonwealth Secretariat)

TEDDY WINN
| Griffith Asia Insights

https://blogs.griffith.edu.au/asiainsights/

TOWNSVILLE - Papua New Guineans will go to the polls on 2 July - the tenth time citizens have exercised their universal suffrage since the first post-independence election of 1977.

The process started with the issuing of writs on 12 May.  Sadly, the country lost its deputy prime minister in a fatal car accident the day before, resulting in the deferral of nominations by a week.

Continue reading "Pre-poll incidents foretell election violence" »


Violence, voting fraud to blight 2022 election

The 2022 election is shaping up to be the most violent ever despite the government purchasing armoured vehicles, imposing a ban on the 50,000 illegal firearms in the country and support from the Australian Defence Force

Election - Men queue to vote at a Highlands election (Treva Braun)
Men queue to vote at a Highlands election (Treva Braun)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The shooting of a returning officer, 30 other deaths in electoral violence, candidates’ supporters burning rivals’ vehicles and other violence have already marred Papua New Guinea’s upcoming general elections.

In a pointed article for the Asia & the Pacific Policy Society, academics Henry Ivarature and Michael Kabuni have expressed fears that the elections due to start on Tuesday 2 July are shaping up to be as bad as what was said to be “the worst one ever” in 2017

Continue reading "Violence, voting fraud to blight 2022 election" »


Is it bribery to pay for campaign rallies?

The smart move would be to bribe the polling officials and security officers. Less people to bribe so much cheaper. But is it worth spending eight years in jail for that? Not so smart really.

Bird
Governor Allan Bird - " I don't believe our voters are stupid. Certainly not in Sepik"

GOVERNOR ALLAN BIRD
| Academia Nomad

WEWAK - I see some smart commentators who, observing transport, food and drink provided by candidates at rallies, say this is wrong and constitutes bribery.

First of all, I don't believe our voters are stupid. Certainly not in Sepik.

Continue reading "Is it bribery to pay for campaign rallies?" »


The vital roles of the media in our country

Being an agitator can come at a high cost. In many instances, society may not be ready for the solutions the media provides. The media itself may not be ready

Scott Waide
Scott Waide - "The role of the media as a guardian of democracy comes to the fore when people go to the polls"

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - It has been a hectic three months working around the clock running pre-election workshops for journalists in all four regions through the media development initiative of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The most important part of the training for many of those journalists who attended has been the discussion around the role of the media in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "The vital roles of the media in our country" »


Commonwealth observers ready for action

The observer group at the 2017 election was strongly criticised for its perceived failure to identify many  substantial problems around voting

Commonwealth-observer-speaks-with-commonwealth voters-in-Hela-Province-2012-Treva-Braun-Commonwealth-Sec-
Commonwealth observer speaks with voters in Hela Province, 2012 (Treva Braun | Commonwealth Secretariat)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – A former president of Nauru, Baron Waqa, will lead the Commonwealth Observer Group to Papua New Guinea’s national election next month.

At the invitation of the PNG Electoral Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat will deploy the Group to observe and report on the country’s national election scheduled to begin on 2 July.

Continue reading "Commonwealth observers ready for action" »


PNG elections: the dangers from social media

Given Facebook’s domination of social media in Papua New Guinea, it was concerning that researchers found strong indications of organised, politically motivated activity using inauthentic accounts to impersonate incumbent politicians

A fb

CAITLYN MCKENZIE & BEN CONNABLE
| DT Institute  | Lowy Institute 

WASHINGTON DC - How many Facebook accounts and pages claim to belong to Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape?

Between 20 and 35, depending on the point in time and your definition, none verified by the platform.

Continue reading "PNG elections: the dangers from social media" »


No excuses: it’s time you voted for women

Aren’t you tired of voting for male candidates after 47 years of terrible results? What more excuse is there not to vote for female candidates?

Kabuni - Women voting (Commonwealth-Secretariat)
142 women have nominated for next month's national election– just 4% of the total of 3,493 candidates. And, of Highlands candidates, a meagre 1% are women

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI – Since Papua New Guinea’s first election after independence in 1977, of the 983 MPs elected only seven (0.7%) have been women.

In the national election to be held next month, 142 women have nominated – just 4% of the total of 3,493 candidates.

Continue reading "No excuses: it’s time you voted for women" »


Bird with a flash of yellow: The PNGDF readies

What they discussed has to remain as white flecks of foam, cast up by the sea’s rolling waves, particles that disappear as soon as perceived

Nara Image 1
Papua New Guinea’s national flag – the bird with a brilliant flash of yellow

ALEXANDER NARA

MURRAY BARRACKS - It was around 5pm when I spotted a bird with a brilliant flash of yellow dancing upon a nearby branch.

Quite a contrast, I thought, as I dragged my bony frame up Signal Hill at Murray Barracks.

Continue reading "Bird with a flash of yellow: The PNGDF readies" »


Don’t be fooled by the two bother brothers

Marape is as power hungry as O’Neill. They're just two Highlands egos preying on the emotions of uncritical voters 

O'Neill and Marape
Peter O'Neill and James Marape - "Papua New Guineans, don’t be fooled by these two power hungry guys"

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - When addressing a crowd of Pangu Pati supporters in Morobe Province a week ago, prime minister James Marape issued a challenge to his predecessor, People’s National Congress (PNC) leader Peter O’Neill, and his supporters.

He invited O’Neill to a debate and dared him to explain to the country what he had done for Lae and Papua New Guinea during his eight years in office (2011-19). Marape.

Continue reading "Don’t be fooled by the two bother brothers" »


Do our young people understand politics?

That leadership means occupying political office is twisted. That you can only make a difference if you’re an MP is delusional

Polling station in Bougainville (Commonwealth Secretariat)
Polling station in Bougainville (Commonwealth Secretariat)

 

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - Many young people are contesting Papua New Guinea’s national election due to start on Friday 8 July.

Some have graduated only a few months ago with new university degrees, whilst others have been working for just a few years.

Continue reading "Do our young people understand politics?" »


Does PNG really dislike its women this much?

PNG will soon likely have a parliament of 118 seats with no women, one of only four national parliaments to present such a misogynistic face to the world

Candidates - Marape v Oneill
PNG politics - it's a man's, man's, man's, man's world

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - It would be easier to solve the Riddle of Tanglewood Manor than to extract from any reliable source precise and authoritative information about the election of Papua New Guinea’s 11th parliament.

But this we can be sure of. The election will extend for two weeks from 8 - 22 July. It will be for 118 seats. It will elect 22 governors and 96 MPs. That’s about it. Unless there’s a change.

Continue reading "Does PNG really dislike its women this much?" »


Another Somare seeks to rebuild a nation

We cannot build a decent Papua New Guinea when extortion and bribery are the starting points to acquire political power

Dulciana
Dulciana Somare-Brash with the late Sir Michael Somare - "We don't have female representation in parliament and that is a huge motivator. I work in the political space as a technical advisor and I’m hoping to have success at the polls this time"


DULCIANA SOMARE

ANGORAM - I’m the only female candidate contesting the Angoram Open seat in East Sepik Province – one of the 72 candidates who have nominated so far.

That may seem like an anomaly, however the underlying truth is that the steps involved in mounting an election campaign through all its processes up until the final count are complex, exclusive and expensive.

Continue reading "Another Somare seeks to rebuild a nation" »


‘Why you doing a man’s job?’ I was asked

As women make their mark across Papua New Guinea’s public service, the country is still shamed by its total lack of female national MPs

Emily kelton
Emily Kelton has just retired from one of the most senior electoral positions in Papua New Guinea, but she sees not one woman holding a seat in the 111-member national parliament. Perhaps this will change with the election of a new 117-member parliament in July

MY LAND, MY COUNTRY

LAE – According to many candidates who stand for election in Papua New Guinea, politics and parliament is a “man’s place”.

So where do the half of the PNG population who are women fit in?

It is an uncomfortable question, an irritating rhetorical question - one to which we already know the answer. Too often it’s the wrong answer.

Continue reading "‘Why you doing a man’s job?’ I was asked" »


Advice to a young, ambitious politician

Allan Bird
East Sepik Governor Allan Bird MP - "Behave in ways that best represent our values"

GOVERNOR ALLAN BIRD
| Academia Nomad

Good behaviour is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of great strength. Let the ballot box speak

WEWAK – I’ve seen a number of strong comments from young Sepiks and other coastal citizens in support of electing a coastal prime minister.

So let me share my observations on whether this outcome is possible and what it would take to achieve it.

Continue reading "Advice to a young, ambitious politician" »


Note to candidates: Avoid unwinnable seats

A
Governor Gary Juffa - a formidable politician and not someone an inexperienced candidate would want to take on

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - I once listened to a talk on a case study drawn from the Oro provincial election of 2017.

It dealt particularly with the challenges women face in elections.

Being from Oro, I listened with interest but was disappointed when I heard the findings, which were not a good reflection of Oro politics.

Continue reading "Note to candidates: Avoid unwinnable seats" »


Governor Allan Bird’s narrative of success

Allan Bird
Allan Bird - "If you liked the job I did, give me the mandate to serve you another term"

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

The nomination speech of East Sepik Governor Alan Bird is a model for Papua New Guinea's politicians

WAIGANI – Papua New Guinea’s incumbent politicians are seeking re-election. Generally their campaigns feature one of two narratives.

The first narrative tells voters why the incumbent did not deliver services (for non-PNG readers, our politicians are enabled by law to provide services apart from their law-making duties).

Continue reading "Governor Allan Bird’s narrative of success" »


China lines up to support PNG’s late election

Election Scrutineers  national election 2017 (Johnny Blades  RNZ)
Scrutineers at the national election in 2017 (Johnny Blades RNZ)

KEITH JACKSON

Democracy was hijacked with the vote undermined by brazen electoral fraud and unprecedented violence and insecurity - PNG Election 2017

NOOSA – China is offering assistance to curb election violence in Papua New Guinea, according to a report in today’s The Australian newspaper.

The story by Ben Packham, the paper’s well-connected foreign affairs and defence correspondent, comes ahead of PNG’s five-yearly election starting on Friday 9 July and finishing on Wednesday 22 July after a two-week delay for reasons that are unclear.

Continue reading "China lines up to support PNG’s late election" »


Ethnic pressures versus white democracies

A white-australiaCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - While Phil Fitzpatrick's hypothesis in Dividing Not Blending: Multiculturalism in Oz, is broadly correct, I think it is wrong to say categorically that Australia is an unsuccessful multicultural society.

It would be more accurate to describe multiculturalism in Australia as emerging or evolving, presenting a society in which many of the institutional structures and arrangements have yet to adapt to emerging social and ethnographic realities.

Continue reading "Ethnic pressures versus white democracies" »


Basil: distrusted in life; praised at ‘belsori'

A
Sam Basil. The 'belsori' vote following his death increases the prospects of ULP candidates winning seats.

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI – Many tributes have been written about the late deputy prime minister Sam Basil MP, who died last week after a motor vehicle accident.

In this article, I will write about the impact of Basil’s death on the political party he formed in 2020 - the United Labour Party (ULP) - and its situation leading into the 2022 elections before the tragic accident that took his life.

Continue reading "Basil: distrusted in life; praised at ‘belsori'" »


Reason wants equal rights for PNG visitors

Frank Jordan
Frank Jordan - "To invite New Zealanders to work in Australia but exclude Papua New Guineans shows a deep lack of respect"

FRANK JORDAN
| Reason Australia Party

Reason supports giving Papua New Guinea citizens the same rights to live and work in Australia as New Zealand citizens and offering them legislative protections for fair and safe working conditions

BRISBANE - Papua New Guinea is a nation of nine million people just 10 kilometres north of Australia.

Most Australians will have met someone from New Zealand which has a population two thirds that of PNG. How many can say they have met someone from PNG.

Continue reading "Reason wants equal rights for PNG visitors" »


PNG’s national election: Not so secure

Voting-in-2017 (Commonwealth-Secretariat)
Voting at the 2017  national election (Commonwealth Secretariat)

OKOLE MIDELIT
| DevPolicy Blog

WAIGANI - Papua New Guinea’s elections are often dangerous affairs.

In the past, elections have been accompanied by spikes in violence between rival groups, resulting in injury and death. In some areas fraud is rife, and voters face significant intimidation.

Continue reading "PNG’s national election: Not so secure" »


Democracy’s flaws. Could they be fatal?

A Democracy in Crisis (Kal  Freedom House)
Democracy & Human Rights in Crisis (Kal,  Freedom House)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – There has developed the most depressing reality that people can be seduced by falsehoods once they opt to suspend disbelief and accept as true that which has been fabricated.

In 1858 Abraham Lincoln famously said, ““You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Continue reading "Democracy’s flaws. Could they be fatal?" »


Redrawing PNG’s unfair electoral boundaries

Benjamin Raue
Benjamin Raue - "PNG may want to take a page out of Australia’s book and reduce the power of parliament over redistribution"

BENJAMIN RAUE
| Asia & The Pacific Policy Society

Open electorates should cover similar numbers of people but this is not the case in practice

SYDNEY – Next month, voters in the Pacific’s largest country, Papua New Guinea, will be going to the polls to have their say on who should run their country.

In addition to voting for the country’s 22 provincial governors, Papua New Guineans will also be voting for 96 members representing ‘open’ electorates, which cover the whole country.

Continue reading "Redrawing PNG’s unfair electoral boundaries" »


PNG’s political system ‘hijacked’, says Dr Joe

A voter ponders (ABC)
Making his mark for the nation - a voter ponders his ballot paper at the 1997 national election - one of Dr Joe Ketan's two favourites (ABC)

NOOSA – Academic Dr Joe Ketan has stated that Papua New Guinea has had only two credible national elections since independence — in 1992 and 1997.

And he’s afraid that, in the election coming up in June, the government will not repeat this slender history of well conducted polls.

The reason: senior politicians have ‘hijacked’ the system, are not providing adequate funds and need to take steps now to ensure an election with integrity.

Continue reading "PNG’s political system ‘hijacked’, says Dr Joe" »


Australia: More PMs than PNG but….

A
James Marape and Scott Morrison. By the end of June both may be out of a job

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - Australia and Papua New Guinea head to the polls - in May and June respectively - and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and his PNG counterpart James Marape risk losing their grip on power.

If PNG appoints a new prime minister, it will be our fourth since 2002. If Australia gets a new PM, it will be it sixth over the same period.

Continue reading "Australia: More PMs than PNG but…." »


No shortcuts: How women can be elected in PNG

A un candidate training
United Nations women candidates workshop, Port Moresby, 2012. If training does not pragmatically address the socio-cultural barriers facing women, it is likely to be a complete waste of time

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

Disclaimer: If your goal is advocacy for women’s rights, please don’t read this article. It will offend you. If you get offended easily, don’t read. But if your goal is ‘winning’ an election as a women in Papua New Guinea read on - MK

PORT MORESBY - There is the idealistic, modern, Western way of doing things. And then there is the Papua New Guinean Way, the Melanesian Way.

In electoral terms, one of these is clearly much more effective than the other.

Continue reading "No shortcuts: How women can be elected in PNG" »


Can their political legacy get PNG women elected?

Dulciana Somare with her late father Sir Michael Somare (Dulciana Somare)
Dulciana Somare with her father, the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. Dulciana is contesting the seat of Angoram in this year's national election (Dulciana Somare)

THERESA MEKI
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - While political dynasties are not prevalent in Papua New Guinea, there are several notable political families.

Sir Julius Chan, one of the country’s founding fathers, has been in parliament since 1968 – 54 years. His son Byron was the member for Namatanai, a New Ireland electorate, from 2002 to 2017.

Continue reading "Can their political legacy get PNG women elected?" »


Who would make PNG’s best prime minister?

Dr Allan Marat
Dr Allan Marat -

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - Who would you like to see become Papua New Guinea’s prime minister? In this article, the top three candidates are ranked and profiled about why they're good prime ministerial material.

1 - Dr Allan Marat (Melanesian Liberal Party)

Since the passing of Sir Mekere Morauta, there’s probably only one true statesman in the PNG parliament.

Continue reading "Who would make PNG’s best prime minister?" »


Ipatas leads charge to get women into parliament

Sylvia Pascoe (Godfree Kaptigau  The Guardian)
Sylvia Pascoe - “I’m not the type of person that sees an issue and just walks away from it”  (Godfree Kaptigau,  The Guardian)

LEANNE JORARI
| Guardian News & Media Ltd | Edited
|  Supported by the Judith Nielson Institute for Journalism & Ideas

PORT MORESBY – In June, entrepreneur Sylvia Pascoe will attempt to take her leadership to the highest level by contesting the country’s national election.

Pascoe, who began the Port Moresby city markets, is passionate about creating opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs, especially other women.

Continue reading "Ipatas leads charge to get women into parliament" »


Don't vote for politicians who deceive

Manila and Justin Kundalin
Manila and Justin Kundalin with Justin Jr

JUSTIN KUNDALIN

KANDEP, ENGA - One of the most deceptive acts for a member of parliament in Papua New Guinea is to use taxpayers or government money to win back their seats at an election.

But for any person to use money to bribe people to vote for a particular candidate is wrong and it is illegal.

Continue reading "Don't vote for politicians who deceive" »


Election a'coming, & the going ain't easy

PollingSTEPHEN HOWES
| East Asia Forum

CANBERRA - Papua New Guinea's national elections are approaching, with the voting period set to be held from 11-24 June.

Elections are held every five years and are very popular events. Although voting is voluntary, the turnout of voters is just below that of Australia, where voting is compulsory.

Continue reading "Election a'coming, & the going ain't easy" »


Different kind of election? I’m not holding my breath

ElectioneeringBUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

PORT MORESBY - As the nation gears up for national elections in April, pundits and analysts are beginning to argue about the outcome.

However, the historical trend seems to tell us that the winners and losers have already been decided.

Just think about it, when was the last time Papua New Guinea experienced a truly fair and free election?

It was probably during the formative years after independence. Maybe not even then.

Continue reading "Different kind of election? I’m not holding my breath" »


Many threats surround PNG’s coming election

GunsMICHAEL KABUNI
| The Asia and the Pacific Society

PORT MORESBY - Policymakers in the Pacific Islands face multifaceted security issues, a fact that is not lost on the region’s leaders.

This was demonstrated in the 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security, which expanded the definition of security beyond geostrategic concerns to human security.

Continue reading "Many threats surround PNG’s coming election" »


The season for beer, lamb flaps & clan loyalty

Martyn Namorong
Martyn Namorong - With elections due in June, police commanders are concerned at the lack of preparation

MARTYN NAMORONG
| Linked In

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea goes to a national election in June with many people pinning their hopes on the outcome of the polls.

The election is pivotal, not just in terms of bread and butter socio-economic issues but also in dealing with a final political settlement for Bougainville, which in a 2019 referendum opted overwhelmingly for independence from PNG.

Continue reading "The season for beer, lamb flaps & clan loyalty" »


Coalition against corruption regroups

TIPNG founding director Richard Kassman OBE
TIPNG founding director Richard Kassman OBE speaks at the relaunch of the Community Coalition Against Corruption on International Anti-Corruption Day last week

NEWS DESK
| Transparency International PNG

PORT MORESBY - Ahead of next year’s national elections and amid Papua New Guinea citizens’ concerns about governance and corruption, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has relaunched the Community Coalition Against Corruption.

Initially co-founded by TIPNG and the Media Council of PNG in 2002 with the support of churches, chambers of commerce, the Ombudsman Commission and the office of the Public Solicitor, the Coalition is a collective community network committed to standing together against the evil of corruption.

Continue reading "Coalition against corruption regroups" »


Election ‘22: Voter guide to how bad will oust good

A somare
When PNG became a nation in 1975, it had high hopes of building a better society and Michael Somare seemed to be the right leader to do it

 

KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN

PORT MORESBY – I want to talk about the kind of people who aspire to be national leaders and what might make them good leaders or not.

Leaders shape our local level governments, districts, provinces and ultimately our entire nation.

But the poor results on the ground are evidence that many of them, perhaps most of them, have not served our people well.

Continue reading "Election ‘22: Voter guide to how bad will oust good" »


Big worries about next year’s PNG election

Wood - Scrutineers watching as ballots are counted in Lae  2017 (Terence Wood)
Scrutineers watch as ballots are counted in Lae,  2017 (Terence Wood)

TERENCE WOOD
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Papua New Guinea is set to hold elections halfway through next year.

Unlike many developing countries, PNG did not lapse into autocracy in the wake of independence. Its history of regular elections is something to be proud of.

Continue reading "Big worries about next year’s PNG election" »


What you can expect in the 2022 elections

Laveil electionMAHOLOPA LAVEIL
| Lowy Interpreter

WAIGANI - Papua New Guinea will conduct its tenth national election in 2022. A by-election last week for the Port Moresby North West electorate provides a preview of what to expect next year.

In PNG, a by-election is required when a vacancy occurs more than a year before the issue of writs for the next election.

Continue reading "What you can expect in the 2022 elections" »


Witness tampering: Gamato in custody

Gamato
Patilias Gamato - threatened to sue writer Martyn Namorong for defamation during the 2017 election when Namorong satirically compared him with a tomato

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's electoral commissioner, Patilias Gamato, was remanded in custody at the Boroko police cells in the national capital on Thursday after an alleged breach of his bail conditions.

Gamato was arrested in October and charged with corruption in relation to an incident in Port Moresby during the 2017 general elections.

Continue reading "Witness tampering: Gamato in custody" »


Sir Mek: 'Australia turned blind eye to election fraud & malpractice. PNGns expect Australia to condemn corruption, fraud & violence'

Morauta
Sir Mekere Morauta - "The 2017 election was designed to be chaotic; it was designed to be rigged; it was designed to produce a particular result”

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, has strongly criticised “foreign governments and organisations”, singling out Australia, for their assessments of the 2017 PNG national election.

Sir Mekere accused them of “whitewashing the rigging and corruption associated with it”.

He was reacting to shocking revelations in independent election reports published by the Australian National University and Transparency International.

“The ANU report and the report of TI PNG stand out in stark contrast to the remarks made by some foreign governments and in other observer reports of the 2017 election,” he said.

“While those other observers noted irregularities, mostly with the electoral roll, they failed to expose the widespread abuse, violence, intimidation and rigging that voters experienced.”

Continue reading "Sir Mek: 'Australia turned blind eye to election fraud & malpractice. PNGns expect Australia to condemn corruption, fraud & violence'" »


The rigging of the 2017 election: (4) Money politics & corruption

Peter O'Neill votes
Peter O'Neill casts his vote at the 2017 national election that was riven by crime figures, intimidation by strongmen, money politics and outright corruption

MARK DAVIS

In this final article based on the Australian National University’s report on the 2017 Papua New Guinea election, journalist Mark Davis concludes with the observer group’s finding that there has been a fundamental shift in the relationship between the PNG people and their politicians – and it’s not for the better.
You can link to the full ANU report here

CAIRNS - Money politics, the use of criminal elements and the engagement of security forces are a feature of elections in the Papua New Guinea Highlands, and have slowly spread into all other regions, most recently into the PNG Islands and Milne Bay.

The ANU report states:

“Money played a huge part in the 2017 elections, and there is no doubt that ‘money politics’, which continues to be most pervasive in the Highlands, was more significant than ever before.

“Candidates across the country (in all four regions) were observed to have spent significant amounts of money securing support and offering material incentives to voters.

Continue reading "The rigging of the 2017 election: (4) Money politics & corruption" »


The rigging of the 2017 election: (3) Violence & intimidation

Election violence in Kundiawa
Election violence seized Kundiawa in Chimbu Province. A dispute over who won the governorship continues in the courts but not in Kundiawa where it is considered a danger to public safety

MARK DAVIS

Journalist Mark Davis continues his summary of the main issues arising in the lengthy Australian National University report on the 2017 Papua New Guinea national election. Mark  documents election violence including an undisclosed level of murder and looting that has extended to this day
You can link to it in full here

CAIRNS - According to the ANU report, violence by candidates and their gangs, and police and Defence Force elements (both institutions comprehensively corrupted by People’s National Congress) reached unprecedented levels during the 2017 election.

Observers and citizens reported curtailing their movements throughout the campaign, polling and post-polling periods due to the violence and insecurity which punctuated the elections from start to finish.

The ANU observation team documented and witnessed election-related violence in all but three of the 69 electorates in which it undertook detailed observations.

This included 204 deaths due to election-related violence, hundreds of injuries and the large-scale destruction of property.

Continue reading "The rigging of the 2017 election: (3) Violence & intimidation" »


The rigging of the 2017 election: (2) Misbehaviour & malfeasance

Peter O'Neill Patricia Scotland
A happy Peter O'Neill receives the Commonwealth Observer Group report from secretary-general Patricia Scotland. The report was a whitewash, no wonder Peter was smiling. But not so after reading the forensic ANU observers report

MARK DAVIS

Journalist Mark Davis summarises the main issues from the Australian National University’s hard-hitting report on the 2017 Papua New Guinea national election. This is the second of Mark’s four part summary of a report that documents an election replete with threats, malfeasance and corruption. You can link here to the full report

CAIRNS - There is much for the Australian government to consider about the corrupt Papua New Guinea elections in 2002, 2007, 2012 and now 2017.

All were conducted with considerable aid support from Australia, some of it directly to the PNG Electoral Commission but most to the general strengthening of the country’s institutions.

On the evidence of those elections, and independent observations, that aid has failed - as has Australian diplomacy over many years.

But the failure of Australia’s Liberal-National coalition and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to understand the Pacific and develop and implement effective policies is nowhere more evident than in Australia’s relationship with PNG in recent years.

Continue reading "The rigging of the 2017 election: (2) Misbehaviour & malfeasance" »


Commission of inquiry is needed to protect democracy

Sir Mek
Sir Mekere Morauta - the former prime minister demands an election inquiry

SIR MEKERE MORAUTA

PORT MORESBY – Following the release of the damning observer report by the Australian National University, I renew my call for a commission of inquiry into the 2017 national election.

The report is a comprehensive account of the election, based on observer teams led by Papua New Guinean experts who covered 69 electorates in all four regions with detailed studies of 44 electorates.

It is very clear from the report that the 2017 election was designed to be chaotic; it was designed to be rigged; it was designed to produce a particular result.

Those who must take responsibility are Peter O’Neill and Isaac Lupari, and their Chief Electoral Commissioner. They must share the blame for the organised chaos we had on an unprecedented scale.

I agree with the finding of the ANU report, based on my own experience, that this was the worst election ever in terms of official corruption and violence.

As the ANU report so amply demonstrates, the election was not free and fair, and therefore the O’Neill Government cannot claim legitimacy, and nor can Papua New Guinea lay claim to being a parliamentary democracy.

Continue reading "Commission of inquiry is needed to protect democracy" »


The rigging of the 2017 election: (1) You were very wrong Australia

Mark Davis
Mark Davis

MARK DAVIS

Journalist Mark Davis has abstracted the main issues of a comprehensive report by the Australian National University’s on the 2017 Papua New Guinea national election. Beginning today, we present Mark’s summary in four parts. The ANU report documents a scandalous election replete with threats, malfeasance and corruption.
You can link to it in full here

CAIRNS - The Australian National University has delivered a devastating and incontrovertible account of the 2017 Papua New Guinea election

The report calls into question the legitimacy of the current regime of prime minister Peter O’Neill and the future of the nation’s parliamentary democracy.

The long-awaited ‘2017 Papua New Guinea Elections - Election Observation Report’ reveals the systematic corruption of the election by Mr O’Neill’s ruling People’s National Congress Party, other parties and candidates, the PNG Electoral Commission, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, the PNG Defence Force and other elements of society.

It is an extraordinarily detailed report who’s unique and invaluable data is based on direct observation by a team of 258 including 32 PNG academics and researchers as team leaders, 31 ANU-based academics and students, 192 PNG observers and three support staff.

Continue reading "The rigging of the 2017 election: (1) You were very wrong Australia" »


Denuding democracy – election 2017 did not measure up

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln - "Government of the people, by the people and for the people"

SIMON DAVIDSON

PORT MORESBY - Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech captured the essence of democracy. Democracy, he said, is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In democratic societies, the people have the right to vote and elect their leaders. The democratic form of government was conceived as a revolt against the monarchical governments that controlled much of Europe and suppressed the people to servitude.

So democracy was established as an alternative to oligarchy.

According to British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, real democratic process comes to play when “the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper, without intimidation.”

In a democratic society, the people choose their representatives without fear or favour. When an electoral process is transparent, an election is deemed authentic.

Continue reading "Denuding democracy – election 2017 did not measure up" »