The Expo is being held in Port Moresby from 10am to 2pm at the Sir John Guise Indoor Stadium. It is an open event, with everyone welcome to attend if they are interested in finding out more about what political parties do and how they can become involved in their activities.
Papua New Guinea currently has 45 registered political parties. The Expo is designed to bridge the gap between the general public and those political parties. Party leaders and executives will be at the Expo to meet and greet people who visit their booths and discuss their manifestoes and policy proposals for the country.
The Registrar of Political Parties and head of the IPPCC, Dr. Alphonse Gelu said; “It’s a timely event and first of its kind for the Registry to stage the Expo. It’s an opportunity for the public to really learn about how political parties fit into our democracy and what their different visions are for our country. It is important that voters understand the role of parties and what each one stands for, so that they can make more informed decisions when they vote. This is also a great opportunity for the parties to carry out membership drives, something our Registry is encouraging.”
The four-hour expo will have information sessions on the role of political parties, how elections work within a democracy such as Papua New Guinea and a special session on how women can become more involved in political parties and politics more generally.
The 2017 National Elections saw no women candidate voted in as a member of the national parliament which makes PNG one of only five countries in the world that has no woman member of parliament. The IPPCC is keen to work with political parties to encourage more women to be nominated as candidates during the upcoming 2018 LLG elections and the 2022 general elections.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been supporting the IPPCC on increasing awareness to promote good governance and gender equality in politics.
UNDP Assistant Resident Representative, Julie Bukikun said: “Inclusive and accountable political parties are very important for PNG’s democracies. We hope that this Expo will enable more PNG voters to find out which party’s policies represent their interests the best. We also hope that if more women and youth become involved in political parties, this will be a stepping stone to more women and youth getting nominated by parties, and more of them getting elected.”
The Expo is also an important opportunity for potential women candidates to find out information about political parties regarding their policies and strategies on women candidates in the next National General Elections. Women are encouraged to attend to find out how to become political party members and candidates.