PORT MORESBY, 07 MARCH 2018 (POST COURIER) — Papua New Guinea will revert to the old First Past the Post voting system which Parliament is likely to be decided in the coming April sitting.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced this in his closing remarks at the 6th Leadership Summit in Port Moresby, saying electoral reforms will be addressed.
And among them will be changes to electoral boundaries, creating new provinces which PM O’Neill said will be announce before end of the year.
He said there were several reforms the Government was undertaking and these were part of them.
“The electoral reform in the April sitting of Parliament, I will present,” he said. “We will go back and propose to the Government, leaders and the people to go back to First Past the Post.
“No country can afford to have an election for three months especially our country where we do not have enough funds to do that. It is costing us more than K500 million(US$154 million) every election year and of course the added cost to the candidate, added cost to the community, the district and everyone, security forces, those cost not added to it.
“It is something that we cannot afford, and that is why we need to do the reforms where we can also benefit.
“Look at Australia, they have an election – 20 million people, they get updates daily….we’ve sent so many election observers there every elections, I don’t know what they are doing…but from my simple observation, I see that elections in every ward – 8 am to 4 pm….this is Australia – start counting right in front of the people and results come on sight with election results coming out every day – and these are what we want here in PNG….we all come from villages and we all know who is going to get how many votes and let’s not fool ourselves by carrying all these ballot boxes all around the country, hoping that votes will come from everywhere.
“We will certainly be announcing the Electoral Boundary Commission so we will split up some of the big electorates in the country so that the attention to those electorates can be far better than what we are doing today. Some electorates have more than 200,000 people and some have on average 30-40,000 and we have to balance the population to the boundaries so that will be announced end of this year, certainly in June., we getting a few names and we will announce soon.”…PACNEWS