The Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, MP, today thanked the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission for the final report on the Review of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections, presented to him by the Chairman, Hon. Robert Atiyafa.
This report is based on the constitutional directive of the Governor-General to review the Provincial and Local Level Governments Elections.
The review was established in 2018 by the then O’Neill-Abel Government, directing the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission to review the Organic Law on National and LLG Elections and propose some legislative reforms aimed at improving the way we run elections in our country to ensure that the elections are free and fair, where our people are given absolute guarantee of freedom to choose leaders through voting.
In receiving the report from the CLRC Chairman, PM Marape said he was grateful for the effort put into by all members of the agencies, who have travelled throughout the country to review this law, based on consultation with the people of Papua New Guinea.
You have listened to our people, studied and compared the existing electoral system; but basically, it is entirely what works for us.
Having elections is a democratic principle, but how to manage the elections including the systems and processes varies from country to country, depending on individual local circumstances and resources, PM Marape said.
He acknowledged that the recommendations contained in this final report reflects the views of our people from all 22 provinces, and will not only improve our electoral laws, systems and processes, but more importantly, restore the confidence of our people in the system.
Our people have lost confidence and this is our opportunity to restore that.
One of the reform proposals in this report is for the Government to immediately invest in adopting a biometrics voter registration; ensuring only one person is registered using their fingerprint against a name – limiting the scope of electoral fraud.
Our electoral system must be fixed now and not later, PM Marape said.
The report also contains overwhelming information collected from PNG citizens, who have contributed so many ideas on how best the electoral process should work.
He said he would bring the report before Cabinet for deliberation and then on to Parliament to be tabled, at the earliest time possible.
The committee comprising of agencies include the Electoral Commission, the Office of Integrity of Political Parties and Candidate Commission (IPPCC), the Department of Prime Minister & NEC, the Department of Justice & Attorney-General (DJAG), the Department of provincial& Local Government Affairs (DPLGA) and the State Solicitor’s Office.