Showing posts with label Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates. Show all posts

PNG's Prime Ministers and Potential Candidates for Future

The prime minister's position carries a lot of responsibilities, and also benefits. Those that once occupied this seat will always crave it. 

But, does this make any of them the best PNG prime minister candidate?

PNG prime ministers

Prime Ministers of Papua New Guinea

Here is a list of PNG prime ministers since independence.
  • Late Sir Michael Thomas Somare (Momase) 1975 - 1980; 2002 - 2012
  • Sir Julius Chan (New Guinea Island) 1980 - 1982; 1994 - 1997
  • Pius Wingti (Highlands) 1986 - 1988; 1992 - 1994
  • Sir Rabbie Namaliu (Momase) 1988 - 1992
  • Late Bill Skate (Southern) 1997 - 1999
  • Late Sir Mekere Morauta (Southern) 1999 - 2002
  • Peter O'Neill (Highlands) 2012 - 2019
  • James Marape (Highlands) 2019 - 2022

The last man standing, Sir Julius Chan, describes the former PNG prime ministers in his book, Playing the Game

Here is what he thought of the past PNG PMs.

  • Sir Michael Somare – he thought Somare was a close friend but a political rival. He did not like Somare’s style of leadership. Throughout his book, he was slagging Somare's political tactics and the way political powers were concentrated within small political groups called the '4 Sirs and the 'Kitchen Cabinet'.
  • Pius Wingti – he thought he was okay to work with as his deputy PM. He finds him different from the other Highlands MPs like Okuk. He thought Wingti focused more on business and less on politics.
  • Sir Rabbie Namaliu – he thought Namaliu was a true academic, but indecisive.
  • Bill Skate – he loathed Skate and thought he should never be trusted.
  • Sir Mekere Morauta –-Sir Julius Chan said very little about Mekere. Understandably, he was out of office when Sir Mekere got into politics.
He did not say much about Peter O'Neill and James Marape, they became PM after his book was released in 2016.

Living Prime Ministers of PNG

Sir Julius Chan's role as the PNG prime minister was brought to an end during the university student's strike of 1994. His idea of hiring the Sandline Mercenary was unpopular and gained a hostile welcome as students and the PNG Defence Force revolted against it.

Pius Wingti and Sir J are happy running their provinces.

Sir Rabbie Namaliu has been out of the political scene in Papua New Guinea since he lost the election in 1992.

Peter O'Neill took over from the NA-run government when the founder was sick and in hospital in Singapore. His prime ministerial role was marred by court battles and controversial business deals. He spent more time in courts than in the prime minister's office. He used DSIP/PSIP grants to tie MPs down. O'Neill's commitment to the TFF policy is acknowledged, but there are serious issues surrounding transparency about him.

James Marape slogan 'Take Back PNG' gains popularity. He has a hand in the Pogera and Papua LNG deals which turn out to be decisive. Yet he was known to have spent a lot of money on overseas trips such as the K5 million one-day trips to Indonesia and COP26. 

Who is the best candidate for the PNG Prime Minister's position?

The two MPs in the race for the prime minister's seat after the 2022 elections are the incumbent James Marape and Peter O'Neill. 

There are some dark horses who are also party leaders. Some names that are going around during the elections are:
  • Belden Namah (Momase) - he was the incumbent Opposition Leader and a party leader, 3 terms MP and likely to be the force behind the formation of a new govt. A potential PM candidate, but abrupt and reactive.
belden namah png election 2022

  • Kerenga Kua (Highlands)- he is the 2 term, a strong supporter of the late Sir Micheal Somare and leader of the eastern (lower) highlands block, and the leader of the National Party. He is a lawyer by profession, can stand his ground and has a presence about him. He is a dark horse but he will have difficulty working with people he did not like.
kerenga kua for png prime minister

  • Dr Allan Marat (New Guinea Islands) - is cool, calm and collected. He can make a great prime minister. He needs to put his hand up and make it count as the leader of the Melanesian Liberal Party. This is a long shot, but this MP has the PM's aura about him.
png 2022 election results formation of govt

  • Patrick Pruiatch (Momase)- he is a 3 term MP serving senior ministerial portfolios during the Somare, O'Neill and Marape govts; and leader of the National Alliance party. He comes across as an intelligent MP, but it's quite the opposite.
papua new guinea prime minister 2022

  • Don Polye (Highlands) - he occupies senior ministerial portfolios in the Somare and O'Neill govts. Not easily manipulated, a fighter. He is the leader of THE party. He is a civil engineer by profession and can work with MPs from every part of the country. Yet, his THE party has struggled to muster numbers in elections. 
png prime minister don polye 2022 election results

  • Charles Abel (Southern) - a former deputy prime minister, he settled well as the second in command. However, he has a good chance of changing seats with the leader of the PNC party and commanding a following in the Southern part of the country.
png prime minister 2022 election results

Expect the unexpected

Anyone who follows the PNG elections and by-elections in the past will know that it is 'unpredictable'!

The governor-general will invite the party with the highest number to form the new govt after the 2022 national general elections. Yet, it does not mean that the prime minister will come from that party, because candidates do jump parties last minute. 

Also, the independent candidate will have a lot of say in who's going to be the next prime minister of PNG. 

So, who is the best candidate for the Prime Minister's position after the 2022 election?

It should not be anyone with a dramatic past, but someone who can empower the people through education, change the mineral and resource laws and bring economic independence.

The country has seen a glimpse of hope in the past Prime Ministers, but they are yet to see someone who CAN get the public servants to earn their pay, and work for the people they serve.

It's not easy. But, it can be done.

Revised Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Failed to Get MPs Support

Press Release 02/06/2016[Source: Legend FM News]

The Registry of Political Parties is gravely concern about the lack of interest by the Government to table the Revised Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) in Parliament. The Revised OLIPPAC was approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) in March 2014 but still waiting to be tabled in Parliament. The Registry of Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu is concerned about the lack of interest and foresight to pass this law.

The Revised OLIPPAC was gazetted and distributed amongst the MPs since 2014 but this had somewhat failed to get any support from any MPs on the floor of Parliament. In 2015, the Registrar developed a survey question on the Revised OLIPPAC which was distributed to 52 MPs to answer and return to the Registry, out of this only 3 MPs responded. However from the questionnaire not all the questions were answered. This lack of interest shown in this survey by the MPs clearly show the lack of interest by our MPs in any issue and laws that are generated to address certain situations in the country.

MPs must know their responsibilities as MPs and Leaders. They do not only represent their electorates in Parliament but are also required to take part in important policy processes such as that initiated by the Registry of Political Parties. As MPs and Leaders they should be smart and knowledgeable about issues facing the country. As Leaders they are obliged to participate in many other activities and as responsible leaders they must accept such invitations and give all they have to such initiatives and not to act as irresponsible individuals.

The Registry has been awaiting any response or indication from the NEC, Acting Clerk of Parliament, Leader of Government Business and the Prime Minister to inform the Registry where the Revised OLIPPAC is now. When can the Registry get any indications from these responsible offices and individuals? It is so disheartening for the Registry to put all its efforts into the Revised OLIPPAC, get it twice to NEC and then to wait this long.

As the Registry has explained many times, the Revised OLIPPAC is very much influenced by two factors, the first is the Supreme Court decision of 2010 that nullified certain provisions of the law to be unconstitutional and secondly, the experiences of the Registry since 2002 in implementing the OLIPPAC. In other words the Revised OLIPPAC is an improvement to the current law by strengthening provisions that were weak and at the same time to patch the law from those provisions that were declared unconstitutional.

The focus of the Revised OLIPPAC is the political party. This is in sharp contrast to the current OLIPPAC who focuses on the behaviour of MPs but was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The activities of the Registry are now based on strengthening political parties in the country.

The Revised OLIPPAC comes with 6 constitutional amendments. These amendments have genuine justifications in improving democracy and the operations of Parliament as well as the political parties. Some critics have suggested that certain amendments are unconstitutional however if they look at the bigger picture and what the Registry wants to achieve then they would come to realise and appreciate what has been suggested to these amendments.

The Registry has started work on strengthening political parties by looking ahead to the 2017 national election. The Registry has identified various activities build around the concept of strengthening political parties. One of these activities which is based around the strengthening of political parties is the theme for 2016 and 2017 which is “Know Your Party” “Vote Your Party”.
The Registry has published posters that have been printed in the daily newspapers in the months of March and April 2016. The Registry would do a follow up of this with posters of parties with their party leaders and four of their main policies for the 2017 national election. A TV advertisement will be launched soon on promoting political parties in the country.

In promoting political parties, the Registry has even suggested to change the voting system and adopt one that would give prominence to parties rather than candidates. The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission has been progressive enough to have taken this suggestion on and will put it on its agenda after the 2017 national elections.

From these activities the Registry has already started the process of promoting political parties but need the Revised OLIPPAC to be passed in order to give legitimacy to what it has started by promoting political parties.

It is therefore in the interest of everyone including the Registry and the MPs to respond to this urgently as the Registry needed the Revised OLIPPAC to support its activities. The Revised OLIPPAC is for Papua New Guinea and not for only one group or person or party. To suggest otherwise is irresponsible.

The Registrar Dr Gelu therefore call on all the MPs whether in government or the opposition to support this proposed law and have it tabled in Parliament. The Registrar even called upon those sensible and good thinking MPs to raise this matter on the floor of Parliament. At the moment the Registry is kept away from knowing where the Revised OLIPPAC is now and the important questions on when it will be tabled on the floor of Parliament and why it has not been tabled in Parliament.