Dialogue needed before any PNG voting changes: academic

The executive director of a Papua New Guinea think-tank says there needs to be a reasonable level of public dialogue before any changes can be made to the electoral sytem.

PNG's registrar of Political Parties, Alphonse Gelu, last week suggested that electors should vote for parties rather than individual political candidates.

He mooted the idea with a view to strengthening political parties.

Paul Barker from the Institute of National Affairs said a simple system is needed as the current one is too complicated to easily convey what individual candidates stand for.

"What Dr Gelu is really trying to achieve is a mechanism to try and bind people to parties early on in the piece, and then parties to governments once they're making a commitment before and after the election."

Mr Barker said current legislation makes it very difficult to ensure MPs stay with the parties and party platforms they were elected on.

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