Home > Papua New Guinea, Politics > Government defers national elections

Government defers national elections

By  Liam Fox 

Papua New Guinea’s government has taken the unprecedented step of deferring the country’s national elections.

The government successfully moved a motion to defer the national elections by six months with a vote of 63 to 11.

Before the vote, the minister assisting the prime minister on electoral matters, Waka Goi delivered an update on electoral preparedness.

He said there was a fundamental shortfall of around $30 million, electoral rolls were not ready and police were also not ready to provide security.

During the debate most MP’s supported the moves, while others said the delay should only be two months.

Deputy prime minister Belden Namah said the deferral was a special case, and the government was not hungry for power.

Former attorney general Sir Arnold Amet says the deferral is unconstitutional and will be challenged in court.

Voting was due to begin at the end of June.

Prime minister Peter O’Neill had repeatedly assured Papua New Guineans and the international community that the elections would proceed as scheduled.

It is the first time elections have been delayed in PNG’s history.

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  1. April 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Hey, great PNG blog. I recently wrote an article about the PNG soccer team, I’d love it if you had a look: http://wp.me/p2hyWQ-3z

    Thanks.

  2. April 6, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Jesus Christ! Whats happening to the constitution of this country?
    Yesterday, 2 judges were suspended by the government using the controversial Judicial Conduct law (now we can see its intention).
    A day later, Namahs wish to have the elections defered for another 6 months was granted by his deputy, the Prime Minister of PNG and his disciples in crime.
    The lame excuse Namah offered was that ‘the deferal was a special case’.
    Well special case it is because they need more time to milk the coffers and use their ministries to make more money for the elections.
    For example, Namah has sold the Sogeram TRP project to Woodbank Ltd, a company he has links to, and lately the Middle Ramu block 1 FMA. Both logging areas were given by him to this same company based in his Sandaun province.
    How many millions did he make out of these allocations made single handedly? He has exhausted all timber resources in his home province and is now selling out other timber project areas in other provinces.
    Not enough time before he faces the music so he has to sell some more timber concessions and make some more millions.
    This I believe is the same case with other ministers who voted for 6 months deferal of the general elections.
    Are we PNGeans going to let them get away with these crimes?

  3. Hel'alli
    April 6, 2012 at 7:40 am

    A government by and for the people protects the people’s interest, this govt. has shown otherwise, the people are left to protect themselves, we can wait for 6 months and express our wishes or uplift the constitution and say no to the extension….ALL ARIiSE !

  4. Sasindran Muthuvel
    April 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I totally agree that the delay is in the best interest of all the current members in the Parliament, the reasons being,

    It gives them the additional 6 months to spend all the money they currently have.

    It is a strategy to destabilise all intending candidates as the Govt knew very well that all the intending candidates by now exhauseted all their resources and also those 2000 public servants who resigned to contest the 2012 election, how will they maintain their livelihood and sustain themselves to face the election after 6 months.

    Why didn’t the current Government didn’t do anything about fixing the Electoral commission 3 months ago? even didn’t remind the need to publish the updated common roll and leave it for people’s view for objection.

    Being the current Government they are to be fully blamed for not resourcing Police or any other Government agencies to be ready for the election, they deliberately gave hard time to various Govt Depts including EC, so that the current situation will come and they can use this as an excuse to delay the election.

    It seems a deliberate and pre-planned move by the current Government to delay the election as the DPM floated this idea of differal even 2 months early giving excuse that, need time to introduce Bio Metric system, Prince’s visit etc, even these 6 months are not going to help them in any way to introduce the Bio metric system.

    Why did they sack Electoral Commissioner and suspend the Chief Justice and Justice Kirriworm when the election is around the corner and these two Judges are involved in the current Govt case?

    The fact is that all the current members need some time to remain in the Govt, so that they receive all those hand outs they have already paid for and distribute to their respective electorates, most of the members are currently having large sum of money in their funds and don’t know how to spend it, so they are desperately buying the time to buy for the handouts and deliver, to win the election. It is unfair and unjust in the view of an ordinary Papua New Guinean who geniunely wishes to contest in these election and resigned from their current positions.

    We need more ordinary and decent educated Papua New Guneans to come forward and contest this election to avoid Rascals getting in.

    The world suffers not because the Violence of bad people,
    but, because the Silence of the Good People.

    Man Proposes, God Disposes,
    God Bless PNG.

  5. Anthony Marome
    April 8, 2012 at 6:18 am

    The 63 members of parliament thinks they are men enough to make such decissions, wait until tuesday and they will realised where they went wrong, PNG soil is swelling and it will burst, believe it or not it will burst, tokim ol painim ples long go na stap…. to the voters such people are dictators and are not need in the next parliament.

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