Papua New Guinea is now in the middle of its eighth post-independence nationwide election. The elections were expected to conclude final week, but have dragged on because of bad organisation on the part of the Electoral Commission, safety problems, and poor weather.
Of those 46 parties enrolled, strangely it appears only 22 have supported candidates.
Finish The Impasse
The election has brought an end to over eight weeks of political impasse after the unconstitutional ditching of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, although he had been recovering from medical care in Singapore, along with also the election by parliament of a new prime minister, Peter O’Neill, in August 2011.
Before, the O’Neill-Namah coalition had tried to obstruct a legal struggle and take out the chief justice, and had passed retrospective laws to eliminate Somare out of his parliamentary seat.
Following August 2011 there were two landlord prime ministers, each with his own cupboard, and for some time two police commissioners and two governors general.
However, by December 2011 the public support and the authorities had lined up behind O’Neill, who had a clear parliamentary majority, also locally and globally that the O’Neill-Namah coalition was generally accepted as”the authorities” of Papua New Guinea.
A nationwide election scheduled for June-July 2012 appeared to offer you the only way out of the impasse. But in ancient 2012 Namah started pressing for a postponement of the electiondespite announcements from the Electoral Commissioner that the election must proceed.
O’Neill promised that the election could be held on program, but then supported a presidential vote to defer it.
At precisely the exact same time, O’Neill’s office announced emails and blog sites could be monitored and critics misrepresenting the administration’s activities will be dealt with, and Namah, as acting prime minister, announced a state of crisis in the federal capital and highlands states.
By May, but with electoral preparations moving and over 3000 candidates outside campaigning there was small likelihood of anybody quitting the election.
New Election, Older Issues
Historical polling has run in to issues. There have been numerous violent incidents, such as election-related deaths and intimidation of voters by armed men in many areas of the nation (especially the volatile highlands states). Ballot boxes are hijacked, and there were delays in the initiation of voting as a result of late introduction of ballot papers.
Electoral and safety employees are reported to have already been demanding prior payment of allowances, and there are complaints which large quantities of potential Republicans have been not able to locate their names to the rolls. These issues aren’t new.
It’s very likely that the 2012 election is going to be viewed as more faulty than that of 2007, but not as a faulty as that of 2002 (that was generally thought of as the worst in the nation’s history and involved that the announcement of unsuccessful elections in six Southern Highlands electorates) although there are already calls for the announcement of unsuccessful elections in many constituencies.
Once results are announced there are the regular struggle by leaders of their successful parties to collect a coalition government. Every authorities in Papua New Guinea’s political history was a coalition, lately coalitions of many parties and independents.
The chief of this party having the most chairs will be encouraged to form government (although that doesn’t ensure that leader will get prime minister). It’s not easy to tell at this point who this could be.
Regardless of the result, it’s to be expected a new government will return from the harmful political trends which have characterised the interval since August 2011. Someone must offer the effective governance required to tackle Papua New Guinea’s numerous challenges.