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PNG proposing an end to independent MPs

Monday 21 March 2016 | Published in Regional

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Papua New Guinea – The Integrity of Political Parties and Candidate Commission in Papua New Guina will be proposing a new voting system where people will vote for parties rather than individual candidates in a bid to strengthen the political system.

This would also help eliminate independent candidates, Political Parties and Candidates Registrar, Dr Alphonse Gelu, revealed last week.

“We are proposing a system where people come and vote against political parties. There would be no picture or faces of candidate on the ballot paper. All that would be available on the ballot paper would be the party logos and colours.

“Political parties then have the prerogative to find a suitable candidate to run under their respective party.

“This system of voting is used around the world like New Zealand and Fiji, which has recently been using this system of voting.

“In this way we can also get rid of independent candidates. This is important because the government is formed by political parties and not individuals,” Dr Gelu said.

He said strengthening of political parties as active and strong institutions is still a great challenge.

Dr Gelu said one way of strengthening political parties is using methods of voting. He said his office is trying to create a bridge between policies, people and political parties.

He said from survey taken nationwide, it has been preliminarily revealed that people do not know much about parties and vote for members of parliament based on tribal allegiance.

Dr Gelu is currently in Kerema with his staff conducting on a survey of how people understand and see political parties.

There are also other member from the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidate Commission conducting similar survey in Madang and other provinces.

- Post-Courier