Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, has vowed to clean up the electoral process to create a free and fair election that will give a fair chance for women candidates to be voted into Parliament.

The Prime Minister made this comment while giving his keynote address at the first-ever PNG Political Parties and Women in Political Leadership Forum held today (14/11/19) at the Holiday Inn Port Moresby.

He said he would like to clean the electoral process so that elections are free and fair, providing a conducive environment for women and men to enter into parliament on their own merits.

It is about time we strengthen the process of the electoral pathway and create a better environment for elections so that candidates can succeed on their own merits, Prime Minister Marape said.

There is still room for improvement.

Prime Minister Marape also gave his commitment to bring the revised Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (ILIPPAC) to Cabinet again and to work towards a possible tabling in Parliament next year.

He also expressed his interest to see the recommendations that will come out of the forum and urged the Registrar Dr. Alphonse Gelu and his team to start carrying out awareness on Political Parties and their Policy Platforms leading up to the 2022 National Elections.

The Prime Minister said although there are no women in Parliament in this term, women’s participation in political leadership in the country is not bleak.

It  has  taken  some  countries  more  than  the  44  years  that  we  have  been  politically independent to elect women into Parliament, he said.

Let me remind you that participation of women in political leadership for women in Papua New Guinea started in 1977, two years after Independence with the Election of Dame Josephine Abaijah and Nahau Rooney into Parliament.

However, Prime Minister Marape reiterated that there is still room for improvement, without infringing on the right of the citizens of Papua New Guinea to choose the leaders they believe can serve the interest of the people and the country best.