THERE has not been sufficient debate between political parties and candidates on anti-corruption policies in this election campaign period. To their credit, some candidates and political parties have promised to reinstate the now disbanded Taskforce Sweep. However the intentions behind these commitments to reinstate the Taskforce Sweep must be one of genuine interest in pursuing justice and restoring the integrity of public offices. The Taskforce Sweep should not be used for a campaign of vendetta against political opponents. When anti-corruption bodies are used to conduct witch-hunt against political opponents, they become embroiled in political power struggles, and are accused of being biased in the conduct of their functions. These anti-corruption bodies are easily disposed off as a result. In the final weeks of the campaign period, PNG voters should demand political parties and candidates to clearly spell out the anti-corruption strategies they will institute when given the mandate to form government. Looking ahead, a long overdue anti-corruption agenda that needs to be the first order of business for the new government is to revisit the stalled Independent Commission against Corruption Bill. The history of this piece of legislation clearly demonstrates that there is enough momentum toward legislating for this anti-corruption legislation. There needs to be political will on the part of law-makers to enact this legislation. ICAC is a comprehensive approach. It has the potential of dealing with the sophistication of corrupt dealings beyond the jurisdiction of PNG.
Patrick Kaiku Waigani, NCD