Election 2022 a ‘wake-up call’ for PNG’s leaders, says watchdog

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Voting in the Papua New Guinean national election
Voting in the Papua New Guinean national election. Image: Raguel Kepas/RNZ Pacific

RNZ Pacific

Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) says the country’s just-completed national election was a severely flawed process.

TIPNG deployed 340 observers during the polling period, its highest number in the last 10 years.

In its initial assessment, Transparency said there must be a genuine commitment from all stakeholders to undertake major reforms of the electoral process to avoid similar problems at the 2027 election.

It said the numerous problems experienced during 2022 should be a “wake-up call” for the country’s leaders to act.

Group chairman Peter Aitsi said there would need to be a structured intervention to restore public trust and demonstrate greater levels of competency.

He said in undertaking post-election analysis, all stakeholders should focus on structured long-term interventions that will promote transparency and integrity in PNG’s National Elections.

“There is a five-year electoral planning cycle and that must be properly supported on an annual basis,” said Aitsi.

Quick fixes no solution
“The issues of 2022 will not be resolved through quick fixes, which run the risk of further depleting limited public funding for this essential democratic process.

“In undertaking post-election analysis, all stakeholders should focus on structured long-term interventions that will promote transparency and integrity in PNG’s National Elections.”

Preliminary key issues TIPNG identified during the 2022 national general elections were:

  • frequent instances of roll inaccuracy;
  • lack of enforcement against election offences;
  • non-compliance with Constitutional requirements;
  • disturbances in the conduct of the ballot counting;
  • confusion on the declaration of seats; and
  • widespread election-related violence.

These issues will be further discussed in the full TIPNG 2022 Election Observation Report to be launched in November.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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