Showing posts with label PNG Opposition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PNG Opposition. Show all posts

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.

Apprenticeship Scheme: Upskill Grades 8, 10 and 12 Dropouts – Government To Fund, Industry Majors to Implement the Scheme

Recent Opposition statement reported in the media about developing skilled workforce in Papua New Guinea cannot come at the right time when over 80% Grade 12 students were unable to secure a place in tertiary institution. 

It is important to note that the K3.7 billion mentioned by the Opposition leader is a lot of money, especially when it is aligned with skill development. Program duration (How long it will take) and checks and balances remains to be seen.

The Opposition said ‘revenue to implement this policy would be sourced from the proceeds of LNG tax, resale of controversial K3 billion UBS loan and the Sovereign Wealth Fund via parliamentary budgetary process.’ [PNG Loop 19/02/2015]

It seems Don Polye, who was once deputy prime minister and treasurer, knows well how much money is floating around in government coffers. This is just politics but there is merit in his statement.

In the early years of our nation (1950s – 1960s) students choices were limited but policy makers can learn from it. Those who continued to be teachers and pastors were able to read and write well.

On the other hand, given the demand for work force, others became mechanics, drivers, operators, labourers and nurses among other skilled jobs. Many of the early schoolers have worked with construction companies like Dillingham Brothers, Department of Works and subcontractors to build the national highway we now called the Okuk Highway. Others started in Bougainville, Port Moresby and Lae during and after independence and eventually settled in various parts of the country.

So, why am I retelling the story of my father? He was a form 2 going onto form 3 but decided to be a mechanic. So he did – he became a Heavy Diesel Fitter Mechanist a few years after leaving school. His was successful in finding a place because there was demand for workers from companies like Bougainville Copper Mine, Dillingham Brothers and subcontractors.

Any government who wishes to develop skills today will have to create a working plan. A plan that would take into consideration the Grades 8, 10 and 12. And, how these young men and woman can be given the change to develop to their full potential. Begin by asking if are there any companies in Papua New Guinea who would want to make space for the 15 – 16 (Grade 8s), or 17 – 18 (Grade 10s) or 19 – 20 (Grade 12s) year olds. 

The key words are vocational training and apprenticeship. How can the Government creative incentives to attract companies to take in dropouts?

The Opposition (an alternative government) must know that with a K3.7 billion skill development plan, they do not have to create lots of vocational schools, or technical colleges of poly technological institutions. It is not only important to expand the facilities and resources, but to secure a working environment where newbies can rub shoulders with experts. This must be done through work placements and apprentice programs.

In fact, apprenticeship schemes are best programs as students are going to be working with company’s experts and equipment. No doubt, companies will welcome manpower addition to their workforce. But they will not want to pay or accommodate as they are companies wanting to make profit.

If a government comes up with a funded scheme, companies may step in to help. Unlike the early years, today there are World scale extractive, manufacturing, agricultural, building and logging industries in the country. Our current generation can be given the best opportunity if the Government creates are workable platform for companies to take in dropouts.

The opposition have come up with an alternative plan to develop skills. This was a call that came at a time when over 80% of Grades 8, 10 and 12 were dropping out of main stream school. Any government-private partnership for developing skill set in those age groups would be a step in the right direction. 

Only 3 Months of Grace Period | Why O’Neill Must Keep His Friends Close, But His Enemies Closer

Since Alotau Accord, the prime minister of Papua New Guinea has enjoyed an unprecedented support from government Members. This is cemented by allocation of funds and privileges enjoyed by MPs supporting the government.

Lately, EMTV report cited that 10 MPs are planning a move to opposition boosting its numbers from 8 to 18. This is short of the original 25 opposition members. Most of them – 22 altogether – have moved to join Government when they knew they would not receive their District Service Improvement Funds if they had remained with the Opposition.

Many thought that these MPs have compromised their ability to think and act as leaders when they were lured by money. Three men remained standing: Belden Namah, Sam Basil and Allan Marat. They did not trade their leadership status and their people for money.

On the other hand, politicians have their rights to practise what they perceived to be in the best interest of their people. Who are we to judge?

It has been twenty seven months of smooth-sailing for Peter O’Neill when compared to previous governments, where power struggles and government instability were major issues. But, lots of things have happened during O’Neill-Dion rule, both good and bad: loans from Exim Bank and UBS, Infrastructure developments, completion of PNGLNG project, sacking of Attorney General and Treasurer, Task Force Sweep Warrant of Arrest on Peter O’Neill, his latest referral to a Leadership Tribunal and many more.

It is important to note that the prime minister in the 9th parliament has his work cut out to remain for full 30 months. Signing of Alotau Accord and extension of grace period from 18 to 30 months has made it possible. Unless this period is tested and proven to be illegal by the Courts, Peter O’Neill will remain prime minister whether one likes it or not.

So, how long can PNC and its coalition partners enjoy the grace period? Sadly not long. O’Neill-Dion government has only 3 months before a vote-of-no-confidence it called. That means that a motion of vote-of-no-confidence on Peter O’Neill is likely to happen in February or March next year, 2015.

The government is not concerned at the moment as it is enjoying stability from within PNC and coalition partners. This remains to be seen in just 3 months.Meanwhile, Peter O’Neill may have to keep his friends close, but his enemies closer.