Election of PNG Prime Minister

By: PNG Political Commentary FB Page

There has been a lot of confusion and also a lack of understanding in regards to the election of the PNG Prime Minister. Therefore I’m here to give an explanation on the election of the Prime Minister to clear the polluted air. And that’s right the Prime Minister is elected! Not appointed! That’s one thing you all have to understand. Who elects the Prime Minister? All 111 members of Parliament take part in the election of the Prime Minister.

Now let’s get down to basics. First of all it is the law that regulates or outlines the Prime Minister’s election process. The PNG Constitution, Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties (OLIPP), and the Parliamentary Standing Orders (PSO) are important laws to take note of.

 

Invitation to Form Government

• It all starts with an “Invitation to Form Government” (Section 63(1) OLIPP). Under this particular provision the Electoral Commission, on the date of the return of the writs, is mandatorily obliged to advise the Head of Stead (Governor General) of the political party which has endorsed the greatest number of candidates declared elected.

• After receiving the advice from Electoral Commission, the Governor General then, in accordance with the advice of the Electoral Commission, invites that particular political party to form government.

• Note that the Governor General cannot act on his own accord but only on the advice of the Electoral Commission. Also the Governor General is not at this point appointing a political party to form government but rather inviting it to form Government. Like for instance, someone sends you an invitation to go to a birthday Party. If you receive the invitation it doesn’t mean you’re already at the party, you may go or you may not go.

At this time according to the latest reports, it is evident that People’s National Congress Party (PNC) has the greatest numbers of candidates that have been duly declared as elected in 2017. Therefore there’s no doubt that PNC would be invited by the Governor General to form Government.

parliament

Election of Prime Minister under PSO section 7

This is the stage where things become technical but I’ll try to be as layman as possible.

• The Prime Minister is elected by members of Parliament normally during Parliament’s second meeting. The first Parliament meeting is convened after the due date of the return of the writs and is usually for swearing in of members, the election of the Speaker, and other official business (s142(3) PNG Constitution, see also case of Haiveta v Wingti & others [1994] PNGLR 197) .

• By virtue of section 63(4) of the OLIPP and section 7 of the PSO, the political party that has received the invitation to form government from the Governor General has the privilege of nominating a member of parliament to become Prime Minister. Parliament would then vote after the nomination and the nominated candidate would have to muster a simple majority in order to be elected and declared Prime Minister.

• If the candidate nominated by the invited political party does not receive a simple majority than Parliament would have to resort to section 7A of the PSO for the election of a Prime Minister.

• Take note that the procedure under section 7A of the PSO is only followed if the candidate nominated by the invited political party fails to secure a simple majority of votes to become the elected and declared Prime Minister.

• Simple majority should be around 50% of the total members of parliament. So 50% x 111= 55.5 round it up you get 56.

Election of Prime Minister under Section 7A PSO

• The Speaker of Parliament calls for nominations.

• At this stage the floor is open to all members of Parliament to make nominations.

• Under this process the privilege of nominating a candidate
for the Prime Minister’s seat is not only given to the party invited to form government but also other political parties.

• Members of Parliament can nominate more than one candidate for the Prime Minister’s seat under this process.

• A preferred nominated candidate for Prime Minister does not need to reach a simple majority of votes from members of parliament. The preferred nominated candidate only needs to receive a majority of votes in order for him to be declared as the duly elected Prime Minister (PSO section 7A(11) ).

If PNC and its coalition partners increases to 56 or more, most likely we’ll see PNC’s Party Leader retain his seat as Prime Minister and the formation of a PNC coalition government. On the other hand if the Eastern Alliance Camp increases we might see a change of government. Remember this is Papua New Guinea, so expect the unexpected…

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Immediate Priorities to Prepare for 2017 Elections 

By: Solomon Kantha 
Recommended to Electoral Commissioner in 2015

IMMEDIATE PRIORITIES TO PREPARE FOR 2017 ELECTIONS 

 

a) Improvement of Electoral Roll 
The electoral roll will be the key priority and will obviously require a proper, thorough and effective updating. The Electoral Commission will need to work closely with political parties, candidates, elected leaders, civil society and voters to get the buy-in to ensure a clean and updated electoral roll. It has to do more than just administering elections. Roll management needs to be configured so that any re-enrolment, updating and verification is conducted with centralized oversight, auditing and controls. More importantly, a dedicated roll management unit within the Electoral Commission headquarters must be set up and supported by the government as a specific program. There would also need to be transparent recruitment and performance management and regular auditing of province, district, and ward-based level staff.

 

Reasonably low-cost technology can compile (in the field) a digital Voters’ Roll that includes both photograph and fingerprints. Consideration will be given to requesting this technology and to trialling it in priority areas.  

 

b) Introduction of Voter Identification Card 
A voter ID card must be implemented for the 2017 elections and is the single most important device that can transform the election in the polling process by eliminating double/multiple voting, voting using ghost names, under-aged voting, impersonation and other aspects of electoral fraud. A basic voter ID card can be introduced with a photograph and finger print basic security feature and issued to every eligible registered voter. I have observed the use of a voter ID card in elections in other countries in the region and it has tremendously facilitated a successful election. The voter ID will have the basic particulars of a person such as an ID number, full name, sex, date of birth, province, district, electorate/constituency, and village. The voter will therefore vote in the electorate that appears on his/her voter ID. Apart from its use once every five years, the ID card can also serve the purpose of other identification for ordinary citizens to access banking, travel, pension, business and other services. The voter ID card will be reissued only if the person changes electorate or changes name in the case of a married female voter.  

 

A Voter ID Unit will be established to work on the voter ID card system and kick start the process for 2017 elections. A bid process can be advertised with the contract awarded to a consultant company to set up the IT infrastructure for the Electoral Commission to administer, register and process all voter ID cards. The process of the production of voter ID cards will be owned by the Electoral Commission. Once an eligible voter is registered the particulars of the individual will be automatically transmitted to the central system in the headquarters to process the person’s voter ID card.  

 

c) Improvement of Polling Process 
The polling process can be improved with the use of a voter ID card. An eligible voter will be required to produce their voter ID card to a polling official before casting their vote. In the event that a person presents their voter ID card but their name is not on the electoral roll, the person can still vote given the validity, authenticity and authority of the voter ID card. If the person for some reason does not have a voter ID card but their name is on the roll, the person can still vote provided that the person provides a valid and genuine form of identification such as a driver’s license or PNG passport. If the person’s does not have a voter ID card and their name is not on the roll, the person cannot vote. The use of the voter ID card against the roll will help to significantly reduce the number of eligible voters not voting if their names for some reason are not on the common roll as seen in the recent election.  

 

The process by which the indelible ink is used to mark the finger of a person after voting will also be changed. A person will have to dip their finger at least half-way into the ink instead of just a line on the finger tip. An appropriate ink for that purpose will be used and can last up to a month on the finger. This process will eliminate the practice of removing the indelible ink by using acidic fruits, bleach or other chemicals. 

 

d) Improvement of Counting Process 
Given the recent experience with the significant mistrust in the counting processes in the last election that led to a lot of delays, a regional/provincial rotational system of counting officials will be developed whereby counting officials from one region (e.g. New Guinea Islands) will be moved to another region (e.g. Momase region) to take charge of counting. All counting will be undertaken by officials not originally from the province so that the integrity of the process is respected by all parties/candidates of the particular electorate which the counting is taking place. A volunteer registration system can also be developed to recruit individuals in the provinces to be involved in the rotational system of the counting process, provided that these individuals have a neutral standing in the community. These are options that can be considered to improve and instill trust in the counting process.  

 

e) Promoting Minority Rights and Rights of Vulnerable Groups 
An awareness raising campaign would be conducted to promote the political rights of minority groups (women, people living with HIV/AIDS and disables), vulnerable communities (those affected by climate change, natural disaster or ethnic conflicts) including PNG citizens living/working abroad to participate effectively in the elections. The rights of minority and vulnerable groups will be reflected in legislation and/or policy. For the elections to be a truly democratic process, these groups of citizens need to be empowered to participate in the election process. To promote the rights of these groups a Goodwill Envoy who may be a popular international, regional or local musician/band or artist can be selected and sponsored for various awareness events leading up to the elections. 

 

 

MID TO LONG-TERM PRIORITIES 

 

f) Legislative Review 
The Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections is outdated and needs a thorough review to embrace the changes in society, evolving political culture and the needs and issues of this present time. The review will allow the Electoral Commission to effectively administer elections. A legislative review should consider issues such as: (a) political rights of citizens abroad, and minority and vulnerable groups in society; (b) introduction of a biometric and/or basic voter ID Card system; (c) the procedures of postal voting to allow citizens outside of country and those absent during election period from their electorate; (d) clearly defined roles of Returning officers, Assistant Returning Officers, Presiding Officers and Scrutineers; (e) a swift and inexpensive process of decision-making by Courts on election disputes and petitions; (f) enhancing powers of the Electoral Commission and; (g) setting reasonable limits to campaign expenditure. These are few of the major issues but there is a critical need to review the entire legislation so that it reflects the changes in the social, economic and political dynamics of the PNG. The review may also embrace some of the points discussed below in this proposal. 

 

g) Counting and Declaration of Election Results 
This process is proposed to be reflected in the legislative review where after the counting of all ballot boxes the provisional election results will be immediately provided by the Returning Officer to all candidates and political parties in an electorate. The candidates/parties will be given 72 hours to make a claim or appeal against the provisional results. If there are any claims/appeal against the winning candidate or provisional results, a special court much like the Court of Disputed Returns in each province will convene immediately to make a final decision within 7 days subject to evidence provided. After the Court’s decision the final results of the election will be officially tabulated and announced. This process will take not more than a week and the court’s decision is final.  

 

This process will significantly reduce the waste of resources, time, money and effort incurred by the State, aggrieved and declared candidates through the Court of Disputed Returns and allow the winning candidates to assume their mandates and immediately move on with the responsibilities in their electorate, province and at the national level.   

 

h) Out of Country and Postal Voting 
The Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections allow for the use of postal voting by PNG citizens living/working abroad however this process has never been implemented since 1964. Postal voting for citizens living abroad will be piloted in at least two countries (Australia and New Zealand) where there are a significant number of PNG citizens residing. Particular Diplomatic Missions of the country abroad can also be identified as regional postal voting locations (e.g. Brussels in Europe, Singapore in Asia, Washington DC in Americas and Canberra in the Pacific) whereby votes of citizens in that region can be sent to these Missions to forward on to the Electoral Commission. The Organic Law on Elections will be reviewed to have specific provisions on the eligibility of citizens abroad, the required proof of citizenship and the electorate by which they will vote for to allow citizens abroad to exercise their democratic and political rights. Electoral Commission will be working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and PNG Immigration & Citizenship Service Authority to implement this initiative.  

 

Postal voting will be conducted and postal ballots received by the Electoral Commission a week prior to the nation-wide polling schedules. An electoral officer will be seconded to PNG consular offices overseas in the period of postal voting and will be responsible for administering the process. The process of postal voting will also be implemented for those citizens that may be traveling during the election period, those that will be engaged in providing security (e.g. Police and Defence personnel) during elections and those that are sick, disabled or unable to vote in person for reasons beyond their control.    

 

i) Defining the role of election officials 
The Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers, Presiding Officers and Scrutineers play a very important role particularly in the counting process and their roles need to be clearly defined in legislation if not in policy. Experience in previous elections as well as the last election has shown that the counting process can be easily hijacked if the roles of these officers and their powers are not clearly defined and demarcated. While scrutineers in particular play a vital role in ensuring that ballot papers are clearly allocated and votes counted they should never overpower the Returning Officers and disrupt continuity of counting process especially in light of timeframes that are set for the declaration of results and return of writs. Nevertheless, clear processes and procedures must be in place for the grievances of scrutineers to be effectively taken into consideration. The legislation and/or policy would be revised to improve a clear coordination and understanding of roles and responsibilities between these officials.  

 

j) Enhancing the enforcement powers of the Electoral Commission 
The legislative review will also take in account and enhance the powers of the Electoral Commissioner to suspend elections or polling and counting processes if there is a critical security risk and widespread violence that affects or prevents citizens from freely, fairly and safely participating in the election process. The people must learn to respect democratic election processes and until they respect that process they will not have a representative in Parliament. The Electoral Commissioner must have the powers to put on hold the election process in an electorate or province indefinitely in the case of widespread violence and electoral fraud until the people come to a compromise to guarantee a free, fair and safe election.  

 

In the elections conducted over the years the Electoral Commission has never taken a strong stance in prosecuting cases of electoral fraud and abuse. Candidates can sign up to the rules of “fair play” and to provide speedy and effective processes for dealing with breaches of electoral laws. Accepting the need for independent scrutiny by the Courts, the Electoral Commission should be able to act as Plaintiff, not just as Defendant, in enforcing electoral law. Consideration will be given to establishing a special “Election Tribunal” with election and legal expertise to consider breaches of the electoral laws during elections. If the Electoral Commission had reliable evidence of a person breaching the campaign laws (for example, bribery) it should apply to remove the Candidate from that election. If the vote had already taken place, the first preference would be removed just as if that candidate had been eliminated, and other preferences re-allocated. The new message needs to be: breaching electoral rules is not to your advantage. The old message effectively was: anything that improved the chances of winning was acceptable. 

  

k) Limits on campaign expenditure 
To prevent domination by only the wealthiest in elections, many countries have reasonably effective limits to campaign expenditure. Without clear rules spelling out acceptable expenditure and banning “traditional gifts”, such limits would be completely unviable in PNG. All politicians and indeed their communities should share an interest in setting effective limits on campaign expenditure. I accept, however, that enforcement is a major problem. But legislation can empower the Electoral Commission to establish such limits by Regulation, when it deems that reasonable enforcement possibilities exist. 

 

l) Candidates to declare assets 
It makes little sense to clean up elections without linkage to corresponding sanctions in public office to stop the cycle of corruption. Obviously there are existing processes in place in this regard, but consideration could be given to requiring all Candidates (not just elected MPs) to submit declarations of assets to the Ombudsman as part of the nomination process, and to provisions which would mean that any false declaration rendered the person ineligible to stand for a defined period. The purpose of the recommendation is firstly educative (in reminding candidates that they embark on a process where their overall integrity is on the line) and secondly to lay the basis for possible later investigation if relevant. Playing by the rules should not be just one option in a game of winning at all costs – it should be a condition for being a candidate or holder of public office. 

 

m) Abolishing by-elections 
The legislation will be reviewed to as much as possible allow the abolishment of by-elections. Consideration will be given to abolishing by-elections under certain conditions. Under First Past the Post (FPP), “winning” candidates routinely received less than 10% of the overall vote. With three votes under LPV, there is solid evidence that a far wider democratic mandate would have been won by even losing candidates than was often secured under FPP. It would, in my view, be perfectly legitimate to consider requiring the Electoral Commission to complete the count in a manner that would allow the reallocation of votes in the event that a person lost his or her seat. Careful attention to detail would be necessary, including possibly requiring a by-election in the event of the death of an MP or under extraordinary circumstances the voluntary resignation of an MP. Other factors would include situations where a person was removed because of, say, mass multiple voting that threatened the integrity of the ballot, that person’s entire vote would be excluded, including all three preferences (because of the fraud). But in principle, it should be possible to allow the reallocation of votes of a person who lost her or his seat, to establish a successor with the next highest mandate. This alone, would save millions of Kina and allow the Electoral Commission to concentrate on the Roll between elections.

Less Money, Less Vote Buying

By: Political Observer

Reports received from 2017 NGE candidates across the country is that they are running out of money for their campaign. It seems most are wishing and hoping that June 24th arrived so ends the campaigning.

We still have 5 weeks to go and most Political Parties and Candidates have run dry.

Kerengu Kua stated to ABC that this has several implications for PNG democracy.

However, the alternative viewpoints also is that, this will see a test of candidates who heavy rely on “Vote Buying” to change their strategy and start using “development policies” to win votes.

Most candidates dont have a practical Political Platform and the lack of money in spending will put “Spot lights” on alternatives which they can offer rather than “vote buying” and big ceremonies.

Strong Political Platforms will be the Big Winner this election..


Papua New Guinea’s cash crunch saps colour from election campaigns

 

Tough economic times are affecting Papua New Guinea’s normally colourful election campaign.

Candidates and parties are crying poor, and that has meant the normally feverish campaign is more subdued than expected.

The leader of the PNG National Party, Kerenga Kua, said that has implications for PNG’s democracy.

Kua
It’s election season in Papua New Guinea, which means it’s time for colourful campaigns, rallies and outlandish promises by candidates.
“There is less colour, less movement, and that’s not good, because you need to have some level of activity for educational purposes,” he said.

“The messages from candidates need to go out for the people. To do that, they need money and they don’t have money.”
Voters usually expect campaigns to be a period of uncharacteristic generosity from their incumbent politicians and intending candidates.

In the past, many have received inducements to support particular candidates, such as money, food or alcohol.

“They think the candidates will give them money, they will take the money as something they always wanted and they use the money and they cast their votes,” she said.
“They’re not thinking about the future of how they will enjoy the benefits of the government doing some good things for them, because they need money now.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-22/pngs-cash-crunch-saps-colour-from-election-campaigns/8544274?pfmredir=sm

 

 

DEVELOPMENT IS ACCORDED TO POPULATION SIZE – O’NEILL

9th May 2017

Mr O’Neill said when his government came into office in 2012, one of his first meetings was with Governor Powes Parkop who put forward many of NCD’s expansion plans that were never implemented by the previous government.

Mr O’Neill said the previous government had so many expansion plans for city roads including basic services for its city residents, which never eventuated into tangible results.

However, everything changed due to the hosting of the SP Games in 2015, which became a game changer.

STH1
O’Neill cuts the ribbon to Officially Open the Sir Ruben Taureka Highway

Mr O’Neill PM described the project at the time to be three years behind schedule that had ailing infrastructure and could not even host an international event in the country. He said his government took a bold step and made a decision that was against all advice in cancelling the event.

He said it was an opportunity for the national government to deliver the infrastructure for a growing city like Port Moresby, which needed world-class facilities which overtime became a reality.

“Today you have stadiums you can be proud of that is comparable to stadiums anywhere in the world. You simply forget when you go and watch a rugby league match at PRL and forget where we came from. And you take it for granted that these some of the infrastructure weren’t even there a few years back. You forgot the hard decisions and hard ships we had to take in order for everyone to enjoy the facilities. Even our roads now are built to world class standards,” he said.

Mr O’Neill said people were complaining about the government spending too much money in Port Moresby and reminded everyone it was the government’s prerogative to plan and spend money that will bring much needed services to people, which was based on the size of the population in any given location.

“There is no other formula when you have a population like one million people living in Port Moresby city, offcourse you need to upgrade its infrastructure. I want to build a four – lane road in Pangia District but we only have 120,000 population there, so it does not make economic sense to build a four-lane highway there,” he said.

The Prime Minister said developments throughout the country concentrated on areas with the largest populations such as Lae, Mt Hagen and Kokopo.

“We fixed Lae city from a pot hole city to a cement city. We built a four-lane highway from Lae City to Nadzab. We are also building a four-lane highway from Kagamuga to Mt Hagen and onto Koltiga. We are also upgrading all the roads in Kokopo, its because of large portion of Papua New Guineans go and get services there.” he said.

Pangu to create Coffee Ministry 

BY FRANKIY KAPIN
The Pangu party will create a coffee ministry if it forms government after the 2017 national election.
Pangu party leader and Bulolo MP Sam Basil announced on this on Wednesday in the Kabwum district, Morobe province.

Pangu plans to create a coffee ministry when it forms Government

The deputy opposition leader was in the district to endorse the nomination of Haring Qoureka,the Pangu party candidate contesting the Kabwum seat left vacant by Bob Dadae who is now the tenth Governor General of Papua New Guinea.
Mr. Basil said apart from the existing agriculture ministry in the national government there will also be the creation of the coffee portfolio.
He said the current government has allocated K700 000 to agriculture but a Pangu-led government will see the creation of a coffee ministry allocated K1 billion.
He said from a total of K2 billion budgeted annually for agriculture, K1 billion will go to the coffee ministry.
Basil said for the past nine years serving in the government and opposition he has been able to deliver services as expected and now the manifestation of his leadership in the Bulolo district serves as the basis for endorsing ten candidates to contest the ten seats in the Morobe province.

Changing the AID game in PNG

By: The Garamut 

In what has been billed as a shock announcement carried by major news outlets across the Torres Strait, it’s been reported that PNG has formally asked Australia to consider and review how it distributes its annual $AU550 million aid package.
The request was put during the 25th PNG-Australia Ministerial Forum recently held in Madang with senior PNG ministers highlighting the government’s wish to see Australian aid managed directly through the PNG budget by 2020.
Citing internal policy documents including PNG’s Medium Term Development Plan, National Strategy for Responsible Sustainability Development Plan and the 2015 Development Cooperation Policy – which all signal changes in how the government wants to manage foreign development assistance – Minister for National Planning Charles Abel said:

“We want trade not aid. We just want them to come in and support the PNG Government system. They are channeling their aid, which is recognised in our budget, but it’s not really passing through our budget.

“We want you to continue the work, you helping us, but you have to make it more strategic and more visible and thicker, not thinly spread everywhere. All we are saying is we have established our government plans, we have our targets and we want you to come in and work through our plans.”

This message is not new.
It is one that has been consistently presented to previous PNG-Australia Ministerial Forums and PM Peter O’Neil himself highlighted the issue when he addressed the National Press Club in 2012 – that is, PNG wants the way Australian aid is disbursed to be “re-aligned” with government processes and priorities.
The main concern here lies with the creation of a “parallel system” outside the scope of national budgetary, administrative, management and – importantly – maintenance processes whereby duplication of programs targeting similar outcomes exist.
This wastage of resources is compounded when some foreign development programs are discontinued leaving a delivered outcome, whether asset or service, in administrative limbo. It does not help when provincial governments are tasked with ownership of these outcomes on existing stretched budgets.
It is not unrealistic for the government to seek to funnel development cooperation resources toward helping achieve PNG’s development goals as enshrined in the constitution and supported by government policies.
This makes sense, however, presenting such a request can only be taken seriously if adequate and transparent due diligence on the utilization and application of development cooperation resources by the PNG government can be guaranteed.
A level of respect and trust in the bilateral relationship is needed here – and whether it currently exists to the depth required for the request to be granted is questionable.
Ironically, the very substance of PNG’s request that Australia respect PNG’s sovereignty in trying to direct where development assistance should be invested – a premise alluded to time and time again in the 2015 Development Cooperation Policy – flies in the face of a sovereign state’s fundamental responsibility to ensure that its most basic needs are fully met out of its own pocket and not subsidized by the goodwill of others.
And herein lies the challenge for PNG – for no matter how this government frames it, the move to ask Australia to direct fund the national budget by 2020 will be perceived by many as a money grab by a floundering state.
Indeed, news headlines in Australia have already pointed the conversation toward this context; and it follows hot on the heels of other stories reporting PNG’s struggle to meet its financial obligations.
Despite this, with each consecutive budget, total foreign aid decreases as a percentage of PNG’s annual budget. In addition, the OECD Development Cooperative Directorate estimates that Australian development assistance to PNG has undergone a 29 percent real-decline since 2009.
But, as a component of total aid received by PNG, Australian development assistance makes up 68% of all donor contributions. It is because of its proportion that PNG is interested in setting a precedent of how it wants all aid to be “re-aligned”.
With the chances of the current government being re-elected for another five year term in 2017’s National Election remaining high, the push for Australia to fall into line with PNG’s request will not be sidelined – it will only gather momentum.
https://garamut.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/changing-the-aid-game-in-png/

Woman candidates take Parliament training

By: Roslyn Peter

Parliamentary training for woman candidates interested in contesting the PNG NGE 2017 is a great idea and gives an insight for our woman. This is a concept that would ease the elected woman into her seat in Parliament.

But one thing that should be continuously taught throughout the Parliament is ‘Financial Management, Ethics and Responsibility’

What we have seen time and time is mismanagement of finance and the lack of leadership responsibilities in our elected leaders.

Good leaders are easily lead astray when given power and when put under pressure from their colleagues. This makes their job of governing their electorate much much difficult.

Our mama dated leaders need constant and effective training to help them in their electorates and also help them with their responsibilities.

Getting financial training and management training should be the TOP priority for intending candidates and not just for our woman ..
————

By: Post Courier
FIFTY women candidates who intend to run for the 2017 National Election have been selected to participate in a week of training on parliamentary processes.
In a highly competitive process, participants from 22 provinces were selected from more than 200 applicants and will be trained on critical national policy issues, parliamentary processes and campaign strategies from March 6-13 this year in Port Moresby.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) PNG acting resident representative, Ms Tracy Vienings said UNDP was proud to be supporting the Practice Parliament for the second time in Papua New Guinea.
“We believe it is important to ensure that PNG women have the opportunity and ability to actively participate in politics.
“With only three women MPs out of 111 in Papua New Guinea’s current parliament, women continue to be under-represented as political leaders and elected officials,” she said. 

Highly qualified candidates from doctors to village women and women from other sectors of the community applied for PNG Practice Parliament for Women training, highlighting just how many women are keen to represent PNG and be active in political life.


The program aims to empower intending candidates to prepare themselves in the lead up to upcoming national elections in April 2017.
The program, organised by the UNDP in coordination with the Office of Integrity of Political Parties, National Parliament and Department of Community Development and religion, will culminate with a practice session in the Parliament chamber on March 13.

According to Ms Vienings, this training will develop women candidate’s skills not only in campaigning for elections, but also in engaging with policy issues that are critical to PNG’s future.
“That is the role of an MP, and we want to help women prepare to become elected representatives,” she said.
The 50 participants were selected by a screening committee, and were also cross-checked with the Electoral Commission to ensure each participant filled in a Form 29 to contest the 2017 elections.
The final list of participants is available below and on the Facebook page: “PNG Practice Parliament for Women 2017 <https://www.facebook.com/PNGPracticeParl2017/&gt; .
http://www.postcourier.com.pg/Stories/women-candidates-take-parlt-training/#.WLcwQ8vXef1

Trukai expanding investment in local rice production

By: Jonny Andrews

Competition is by far the greatest phenomenon that has happened to mankind!

Decades and decades of Rice Monopoly is about to go up in smoke when the Government puts in-place plans for Naima to grow rice in Papua New Guinea. What does Trukai do in this instance? Do they fight the Government? Do they cry wolf? They do what is the most logical thing to do and what the Government hoped they do.

Trukai now has expand their plans! They go into a 500-hectare rice plantation and want to invest more locally!

This the beauty of competition…..at the end of the day, you see investment coming into Agriculture sector and into Papua New Guinea. We need more local invest, more local employment and more of food security.

Well done Trukai!

——————————————————-

BY: Loop Business —14:07, February 22, 2017

This week Trukai Industries Limited is purchasing agricultural equipment for the establishment of the largest rice crop in PNG’s recent history.

 

With the cooperation of the Chingwam Rice Growers Cooperative, Trukai will be establishing a 500-hectare rice plantation near Rangiampum initially for a rain fed crop to be established in 2017.

This is in addition to the existing 80-hectare site already producing rice for the cooperative, under the management of Trukai’s rice development team.

This site will be progressively expanded possibly up to 1,500-2,000 hectares over a number of seasons, although this will be subject to relevant agreements and climatic and soil evaluations.

22pr_trukai_rice_production
Trukai Rice Field in Markham

This exciting step forward in domestic rice production comes ahead of further developments Trukai management are hoping to discuss with government, following submissions for large scale irrigated rice growing in a number of areas across PNG.

Proposals have been submitted to the Departments of Agriculture and Livestock, and the Department of Trade, Commerce and Investment, although responses from government have yet to be forthcoming.

Trukai Industries Limited’s CEO, Greg Worthington-Eyre said in a statement, “Trukai stands ready to assist the government of PNG in its domestic rice development, and this project with the Chingwam Cooperative is a major step forward in laying the groundwork for other projects.

Whilst we wait for the government to respond to our proposals, we are simply getting on with it, and are very excited about building a strong local rice industry.”

Worthington-Eyre went on to add, “The establishment of the large scale site at Rangiampum will be supplemented with a further 100-hectare site closer to our Erap facility, where our rice seed generation plantation is being redeveloped.”

In April and May this year, Trukai will be installing a hulling mill in Lae to facilitate the processing of locally grown rice, and this represents a significant investment and commitment for Trukai.

trukai01
Workers checking the quality of rice

The first rice to be processed at this mill will be the rice from the Chingwam Cooperative.

Worthington-Eyre concluded, “The rice growing at Rangiampum is expected to be harvested in April this year, and will be transported to Lae for milling and blending.

“Our rice, PNG’s favourite brand since 1970 (before federation) will contain rice grown in PNG.

“This is great news as not only will we be including locally grown rice in our products, food security gets a major boost as well and, more importantly, this puts money into the rural sector for use of land that would normally remain idle.”

http://www.looppng.com/business/trukai-expanding-investment-local-rice-production-52957

Advance Australia unfair

By Emma Larking on February 10, 2017



Operation Sovereign Borders poster (Wikimedia Commons)Australia is pouring money into a system that targets the vulnerable in our region, and it is doing so with considerable secrecy and scant regard for the costs.
Recent evidence of its profligacy came in a report from the Australian National Audit Office claiming the immigration department spent $2.2 billion on offshore detention programs without going through adequate processes to ensure value for money, and without appropriate oversight of contracts for services.


The report found contracts had been entered into in haste to give effect to government policy decisions, and the result was higher than necessary expense for taxpayers and significant reputational risks for the Australian Government and the department.
Australia’s offshore detention camps are now notorious, but less is known about other attempts to curb irregular migration. Yet Australia invests heavily throughout the Asia-Pacific to ensure that irregular migrants – including asylum seekers – never arrive on its shores.
The Australian public has a right to know how the Government is spending public monies, to what ends and with what results. The public also deserves an explanation of how spending on border controls fits with other regional policy initiatives. These include justice programs designed to promote the rule of law, strengthen judicial independence, support national human rights institutions and counter violence against women and children.
In countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region, Australia provides funding and infrastructure to establish border controls, and personnel to draft new migration laws and policy frameworks. Members of the Australian Federal Police, defence force personnel and immigration department employees collaborate closely with their regional counterparts, often working in-country. The Australian Navy and Secret Intelligence Service are engaged in operations to intercept asylum seekers and stop people smuggling.
As well as the detention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea (PNG), Australia also funds detention centres in Indonesia. It funded the Nauruan and PNG Government’s defence in cases challenging the constitutionality of the detention centres. It also funds international agencies to process and oversee irregular migrants and refugees living in the community in Indonesia, Nauru, PNG, and until recently, Cambodia. Frequently, aid funding is linked to agreements to enhance border controls, repatriate nationals who have fled the country, or establish detention centres or refugee resettlement programs.
It is impossible to obtain clear financial costings, but a conservative accounting suggests Australia has spent well over a billion dollars annually since 2012 on these efforts to prevent irregular migration. With no boats known to have made landfall on Australian territory since late 2013, this might be considered money well spent – albeit a large pot of it. But what are the other costs associated with this secretive regime? There is the suffering of individuals trapped in countries where they are persecuted or live in limbo without rights. But there are also broader implications for Australia and the region.
In its collaborations with Cambodia, Iran, Nauru, PNG, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, Australia has aligned itself with authoritarian regimes implicated in serious human rights abuses. 

The funding it provides in exchange for support on irregular migration strengthens and entrenches these regimes. Australia is promoting the securitisation of irregular migration in the Asia-Pacific, putting it on what Josiah Heyman calls ‘a war footing’. In the process, the power of executive governments is enhanced, along with their immunity from public scrutiny and control. Throughout the region, rights activists have expressed dismay over these developments.
Australia’s refusal to open its borders to displaced people is also viewed with disdain by communities that are poorer and less well equipped to assist. Deni ToKunai, a political commentator in PNG, says the 2013 agreement to establish an Australian-funded detention centre contributed to “a boiling resentment [among many in PNG] against Australia and the Australian people never before seen by this generation”.
This resentment is unlikely to evaporate. PNG’s Supreme Court may have ruled the detention arrangements unconstitutional, but there are still hundreds of people living in the centre, and building work is underway on a new ‘transfer’ centre funded by Australia.
How Australia’s irregular migration policies interact with other forms of regional policy engagement has not been publicly explained or defended, but the former are inconsistent with other goals, including advancing the rule of law. Regional justice programs are unlikely to gain traction while Australia continues to fund detention and control regimes that perpetuate violence and operate outside the purview of the law. Instead, they may well contribute to regional perceptions of Australia as a nation of selfish and self-serving hypocrites.

http://devpolicy.org/advance-australia-unfair-20170210/?utm_source=Devpolicy&utm_campaign=07c434825b-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_082b498f84-07c434825b-312063401

HE WHO PLANTS FIRST, REAPS EARLY!

By: Andrew Arthur

The Agriculture Sector is about to get a Major Shakeup!

As the campaigning of forming the next Government heats up. Each Political party would want to be seen as the Government for the people and wants to connect to the people. Major policy pushed would be a returned to the Agriculture Sector …

First to fire their Policy is Pangu Party with a funding of K2billion promised for Agriculture! K1 billion to be spent on Coffee and Cocoa as they believe would earn more. The other K1 billion is to be spread across other agriculture sectors.

The reality is…according to FAO, coffee is listed number 22 of the most important and high earning crop and cocoa is not listed in the top 52 at all!

hydroponics-solves-food-security-issue
Hydroponic solves food security issues

Pangu would be guilty of making the same mistake they did in the early 1980’s………..

What this country needs is to invest into the right product…..look at the list attached, pick the Top 30 and invest into that according to priority.

Food Security is what is Needed the Most! Invest into Food Security as oppose to investing into Coffee and Cocoa!

1. Rice
2. Cattle Farming
3. Poultry Farming
4. Piggery
5. Tomatoes, beans, onions etc…

This is where the people in Papua New Guinea want us to invest in….this is what put food on the table

Invest in Food Security!

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Pangu Pati will invest into AGRICULTURE when in Government.

Today PNG’s Economy depends on 80% Non-renewal resources & 20% Agriculture export earnings, it was the other way around when we took independence in 1975.

Pangu Pati plans to invest at least K2b into agriculture with a billion directory into Coffee & Cocoa expansion and extension programs.

Coffee to become MINISTRY of COFFEE while cocoa to be the same as both are currently earning K500m into our economy from export earnings.

The investment into the two leading cash crops will see a 15 to 20 years timeline to increase production to earn over K2b plus into our economy.

Expansion and extension programs will see an annual investment K200m each into coffee and cocoa programs.

Agricuiture Ministry will be the leading ministry once again under Pangu Pati with coffee and cocoa to independently branch out into ministries of their own.

The rural population and business groups will participate more into agricuiture to feed PNG the world.
Agricuiture is sustainable and safe investment that PNG must quickly invest into to reduce our reliance on non-renewals.
The National Pg 7 07/02/17

most-valuable-crop-livestock
Most valuable crops and livestock according to FAO
16473502_10155141976821614_9182958399000375870_n
Pangu wants to invest in Coffee and Cocoa with K1 billion