Parties must have K100,000 to register: Gelu

Associations or groups intending to establish a Political Party must have K100,000 in funds to operate from.

This is one of the requirements under the revised Organic Law on Political Party and Candidates.

“Under the revised Organic Law, one of the things we are saying is that a party must showcase to us that they have K100,0000 in their bank accounts,” said Registrar Dr Alphonse Gelu.

“Some people have accused us that we are trying to promote only people with money, but that’s the reality.”

Dr Gelu revealed that many parties do not have the financial capacity to operate a political party professionally.

And most times, they operate in very unusual areas, unfit for the professional administration of a political office.

“A political party might tell us that we have political party in Kainantu so we go all the way to Kainantu and sometimes we find ourselves in a patch of kaukau garden where a political party says that’s where their office is.

“In Port Moresby, they’ve taken us to some markets or under the mango tree to tell us that that’s where their office is, that’s where they are operating from,” Gelu said.

He said this was a major issue and the registry continues to screen parties to ensure they have the financial capacity to operate.

The registry also advises political party executives to be more health conscious so that they are fit to hold the offices they have been elected to.

“Many of them are walking on the street, many of them are losing weight. And we are trying to help them with their health.

“Some of them, they come here and we try to give them advice on what food to eat. You can do a lot of exercise but you have to be strong. We don’t want to see you weak.

“It’s not an easy job, and that’s our advice to those that are coming to form new parties that it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be hard,” he said.

The revised Organic Law also states that political associations must have 2000 members before they can register. The 2000 members must have at least 500 members from each region of PNG.

Cedric Patjole