Stable govt will drive change


SINCE Independence, the Government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea was always fragile.
The only two governments that served for more than five years were the Somare regime of 2002-2012 and O’Neill’s 2012-2019.
The change of regimes is affecting this nation’s progress and is slowing the pace in achieving the country’s Vision 2050 aspirations.
In PNG politics, many political parties have different platforms and policies to manage the country and address issues.
In fact they are all the same.
They are trying to address social issues this nation is facing but their objectives when in power never come to realisation because regimes never last to see the fruition of their own policies.
Confidence is of essence for outside investors. The country’s economy relies heavily on our internal affairs.
If PNG is unstable politically with social issues unsolvable, this depicts PNG as an unsafe haven for investors.
Previous governments since Independence never lasted in office.
When this happened, ministerial portfolio changed hands from different parliamentarians.
Policy and administration needs to operate in a conducive environment in order to address issues for service delivery effectively.
When power shifts, policies and head of government institutions and organisations change to suit the new government’s political interest.
For this reason many policies in the past and today never came to realisation.
The National reported on Nov 18, 2019 (Page 9) that Prime Minister James Marape pledged to clean up the electoral process for the next election to give a fair chance for women candidates to be voted into parliament.
There is nothing wrong with the electoral process in PNG.
The LPV (Limited Preferential Voting) system this nation adopted in 2012 had proven to be an effective system for elections in the country.
Women are always welcomed in PNG’s politics, there is no law that stops them from contesting for a spot in parliament.
If leaders want to see more women elected into parliament, they should start allocating funds to relevant government bodies to empower people and begin awareness to promote equal participation of women in politics.
They should lead by example and not stand in the next election but instead endorse a woman candidate.
I agree with the prime minister that women in PNG should enter the political arena like anyone else.
Likewise, it would be totally unfair and against democratic principles if seats in the national parliament were reserved for women.
The Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) needs to be revised, in order to make elected members of parliament under a political party to be firm in Parliament.
The movements of members of parliament at “will” without following proper procedures from one political party to another has contributed to instability in PNG politics. I believe there is a loophole in the rules and regulation in the OLIPPAC in monitoring the movement of politicians between from political parties.
The OLIPPAC should be rectified in a way to impose harsh penalties – fines or prosecution – for politicians who move without following protocol.
Politicians who move from a political party to another have breached the trust bestowed on them by their voters.
The Registrar for the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Dr Alphonse Gelu had countlessly stressed on this issue.
Stability of government is key to good governance and prosperity for this country. A classic example would be the government’s Rural Electrification Policy.
The Somare regime budgeted about K50million for the project.
But when the O’Neill regime took over, they decided to buy two electricity turbines costing the government more than K80 million. This is a classic example of different governments’ policies.
The instability of government regimes will definitely slow the pace of development in PNG.

Michael Trawanga, Jr,
Critical Observer