The Special Parliamentary Committee on the 2022 General Elections has recently presented the 2022 Election Report in Papua New Guinea (PNG) Parliament. The report sheds light on the unacceptable conduct and outcomes of the 2022 Natioanl General Elections.
The report highlights the need for immediate reforms to address the shortcomings and challenges witnessed during the 2022 election. It aims to ensure a fair, transparent, and credible electoral process in 2027 and beyond. Here are the 9 recommendations to strenghten the democratic election process in PNG.
PNG Election Report 9 Recommendations for Reform
The Special Parliamentary Committee on the 2022 General Elections has presented a total of nine key recommendations for immediate implementation:
- Establish a Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Matters. A standing committee dedicated to overseeing electoral matters will provide ongoing scrutiny and oversight of the electoral process, promoting transparency and accountability.
- Strengthen the Inter-Departmental Elections Committee. Enhanced coordination between different government departments involved in the electoral process will streamline administrative procedures and improve efficiency.
- Increase the Number of Commissioners. Expanding the number of Electoral Commissioners will help distribute responsibilities, reducing the risk of bottlenecks in decision-making and ensuring a smoother electoral process..
- Implement Effective Planning and Implementation. Well-thought-out plans for the election process will minimize disruptions and delays, ultimately resulting in a more organized and credible election.
- Update the Electoral Roll. Ensuring the accuracy and currency of the electoral roll is essential to prevent irregularities and disenfranchisement of voters.
- Implement an Effective Voter Identification System. This will help prevent fraud and ensure that only eligible voters cast their ballots.
- Disburse Election Funding Promptly and in Sufficient Amounts. Financial constraints can disrupt the electoral process, so it is important to ensure that election funding is disbursed promptly and in sufficient amounts.
- Address Concerns Related to Election Security. This includes controlling illegal firearms and ammunition, which is crucial to maintaining peace and stability during elections.
- Implement a Comprehensive Legal Reform Program and Address Priority Cross-Cutting Matters: This will contribute to a fair and transparent election.
PNG Election Report Additional Considerations
In addition to the nine recommendations presented, there are other considerations relevant to ensuring a fair, transparent, and credible electoral process in PNG in 2027 and beyond.
First, it is important to ensure that the Electoral Commission is adequately resourced and staffed. The Commission plays a vital role in overseeing the electoral process and ensuring its integrity. It is therefore important to ensure that it has the necessary resources and personnel to carry out its duties effectively.
Second, it is important to promote public education and awareness about the electoral process. This will help to ensure that voters understand their rights and responsibilities, and that they are able to participate in the electoral process
The 2022 PNG Election Report and its nine key recommendations provide a clear pathway for improving the electoral process in PNG. The government and Parliament must work diligently to implement these reforms to restore confidence in the electoral process and governance. The 2027 national general election presents an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to democracy and ensure that every citizen’s voice is heard, thus paving the way for a brighter democratic future for the nation.