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Call to toughen up PNG’s Leadership Code

Wednesday 6 April 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Papua New Guinea, Regional

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Call to toughen up PNG’s Leadership Code
Noel Anjo Koloa Photo: from Facebook

An advocacy group in Papua New Guinea says when the country's leaders are censured under the Leadership Code they should face life in prison.

Papua New Guineans head to the polls in June.

The head of the group Save Our Futures, long-time PNG activist Noel Anjo Koloa, said a prime concern is corruption and to tackle that he said the Leadership Tribunal needs to be much tougher.

He said if political or other public leaders are called before the Tribunal they get off lightly.

Anjo Koloa said "the penalties are like a suspension. The leaders are suspended for three years only. After three years they can contest for public office."

He also said the fines they face are meagre and unfair to ordinary citizens who are typically given much harder penalties for misdemeanours.

Anjo Koloa said Save Our Future is advocating that "the Leadership Code is amended and if leaders are found guilty of misusing public funds then we propose that leaders should be given life imprisonment."

Save Our Futures also wants to see amendments of resources laws to increase benefits for landowners, the provincial governments and the state.

It wants improvements to roading infrastructure by the re-establishment of a national agency to oversee this work.

Save Our Futures also wants laws to better protect jobs for PNG citizens and a review of land laws to restrict foreign ownership.