Political Parties Seminar Launched

Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI) yesterday on the 8th of November launched the ‘2021 PNG Political Parties’ Policies Seminar Series’ at the PNG NRI campus.

In attendance was the Registrar of Political Parties and Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC), Dr Alphonse Gelu, Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Geoff King, and Acting Director for PNG NRI, Dr Osborne Sanida.

The seminar series for the PNG political parties will be held every Tuesday and Thursday commencing today, Tuesday 9 November to Thursday 16 December 2021.

In his opening remarks, Dr Osborne Sanida said: “The 2022 NGE will provide an opportunity for people to elect new leaders into parliament. The election preparation, campaigning, polling and counting, and formation of government are vital.”

PNG currently has 46 registered political parties according to the Registry of Political Parties. All these parties have been invited to be part of the seminar series. Twenty-three parties have confirmed to make their presentations.

Geoff King highlighted the importance of political parties in any government.

“What each parties stands for, the values, the policies, their commitments to the public – absolutely essential, that the voter can understand that.

“Often times people are casting their ballots based around personalities rather than parties and what they stand for,” King said.

Meantime, Dr Alphonse Gelu thanked PNG NRI for organizing the seminar series for the PNG political parties, and in assisting the IPPCC in terms of its contribution in its mission to educate Papua New Guineans about the political parties in the country.

“It is an important intervention due to the need for our people to know about the political parties in the country and what they offer in terms of their policies and leadership.

“Political parties are important political associations in any democracy. They mobilize the people, they educate the people, they contest elections and they provide governments for the people,” he said.

Each week, at least four parties will be scheduled to present. One of PNG’s eminent political scientists will moderate the seminars, Dr Lawrence Sause from the UPNG School of Business and Public Policy.

At the end of the seminar, proceedings report will be produced and disseminated for public use.

The main goals of this seminar series are to:

  • Strengthen the political party system through making awareness of their philosophies, vision and mission statements, policies, for 2022 National General Elections (NGE) and
  • Encourage political parties to work in partnership with the PNG Electoral Commission, PNG Royal Police Constabulary, IPPCC, NBC and other stakeholders to prepare for a better 2022 NGE.

Dr Sanida said, due to COVID-19 measures, presentations will be done to 20 persons in attendance. The seminars will be streamed virtually for the wider public to participate and NBC Radio will pre-record the seminars and package them for broadcast over the next two-three months.

Marysila Kellerton