PEOPLE’S Party, a coalition partner in Government, will not be supporting the private members bill initiated by Gumine MP Nick Kuman to replace limited preferential voting (LPV) system or model of voting.
The party has on Tuesday resolved to go against the move by the Government to re-introduce the first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system in the 2022 national general election.
People’s Party is against this move for a number of reasons.
The FPTP system does not elect a leader by popular voting population.
Under the FPTP system, only a few percentage of the voting population select a leader just because the candidate has scored huge votes from few locations only.
Hence, it does not represent the opinions of the entire voting population.
Unlike the FPTP system, LPV ensures that a widely-elected leader is chosen and that is acceptable for a country such as Papua New Guinea, which comprises different tribal groupings and language groups.
This is why LPV is our preferred option.
FPTP was replaced with LPV because of serious problems associated with the voting system.
The main reason among others was corruption and vote rigging by candidates and supporters using heavy handed tactics.
The dominant groups with a handful of supporters often used heavy handed tactics to rig the voting process and sabotage others so that only the dominant succeeds.
The system was so unfair and the notion of universal suffrage was not exercised, wherein every eligible voter has the right and freedom to choose their leader in a fair and democratic manner. We oppose the move because it is ill-conceived and against the principle for democracy in this country.
Peoples Party is often identified with anti-corruption, upholds the rule of law, supports the system of government and processes and values ideal democratic principles of government.
Compared to FPTP, People’s Party believes that LPV is arguably the most democratic form of voting as it offers three choices to the people. For PNG, particularly in the Highlands where tribal groupings are so strong, FPTP is not an acceptable method of electing a leader.
LPV is the cutting-edge option.
Elections in PNG have become a tribal business where voters are not given the opportunity to freely vote their candidates of choice.
Should the FPTP be reintroduced, there will be a lot of election-related problems.
We have a lot of pressing issues to address going into the elections next year, so we should look at addressing them instead of creating more problems that will get things from bad to worse.
The country is not in a good position for another change in the electoral process.
The election is just a few months away and we are yet to update the common roll.
We, as a party, want to see a safe and fair election next year where people are given the opportunity to choose their leaders freely and fairly.
Freedom and fairness in voting is provided by the LPV system and not FPTP.
Dr William Tongamp and
Sir Peter Ipatas,
People’s Party Leader and