PNG PM: Hike In Nomination Fee Is Not A Deterrent To Contesting Election

PM: fee increase about managing increasing costs of elections, will go before Parliament for debate

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 13, 2017) – The proposed increase in election nomination fees is not aimed at stopping anyone from contesting the 2017 National Election, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

He said last week that the proposed Bill to increase the nomination fees from K1000 [US$310] to K10,000 [US$3100] will go before Parliament for debate at the end of this month after the Supreme Court threw out an Ombudsman Commission challenge to block the Bill.

Mr O’Neill clarified that this decision was not a one man decision, but from the majority of MPs in cabinet, as well as the Government caucus.

"I have my views about the nomination fees as well but I must go with the majority view and that is if it’s going to help us manage the election process on nomination, then that’s the way to go, we will see how the debates go in March.

"We want to conduct a free and fair elections with quality candidates who are serious about managing the affairs of the country, and let me say this again, managing a challenging country like Papua New Guinea is not easy.

"It is not something that you do for fun, you must have the necessary experience, necessary qualifications and ability to make some tough decisions and tough decisions are not always popular but in the long term people will see the benefits of those decisions, and we need to select leaders who are able to participate in that process in a fair and transparent manner," Mr O’Neill said.

"What we want to see happening is that we have a good selection process of good quality candidates coming in, and that the people and community can make their choices of leaders who are going to run the country for the next five years.

"It is not aimed at trying to stop anybody from running for elections, but it is aimed at trying to meet this ever growing cost of running elections, not only for government but for individual candidates as well and I hope that we can have a sensible discussion around it."

PNG Post-Courier
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