Emmanuel Pok, Director of Policy and Legal Division at the Registry of Political Parties and Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC), said political parties were state institutions and the challenge was now on them to make their policies known to the people and educate their members of the duties and the functions of the party.
He encouraged the political parties to do awareness as early as possible. Mr Pok was speaking on behalf of Political Parties Registrar Dr. Alphonse Gelu at the 7th seminar at PNG National Research Institute’s (PNG NRI).
At the seminar, three parties presented their party polices, that were, Our Development Party (ODP), PNG Country Party (PNGCP) and People’s Labour Party (PLP).
Presenting on behalf of ODP, the Party General Secretary Habia Babe said the party plans to focus its policies on improving the livelihood of Papua New Guineans. He said the focus of the ODP is to create wealth and grow a sustainable economy.
Mr Babe said if the Party is mandated after the 2022 General Elections, it will serve people’s interest through implementation of its nine policies focusing on: Health, education, manufacturing, good governance, rural development, transportation, spiritual development, national unity and climate change.
National President, Nelson Duwabane and vice President Edwin Usoni represented the PNGCP. The PNGCP focuses on the advancement of the rural areas with four policy platforms: rural development, enterprises, agriculture, and prosperity.
Mr Duwabane said the aim is to empower rural people because they were important.
Mr Usoni added that PNGCP plans to look back to the lost agriculture and revive it. He said the party plans to harness the current technology and use it to boost the agriculture sector of the country.
Mr Usoni invited the rural-based citizens to choose PNG Country Party in 2022 National General Elections.
General Secretary, Charles Locke and Public Officer, Michael Bongro represented the PLP. The Party policies focus on four areas: rural based agriculture, integral human development (focusing on the role of the church), taxation reform, and workers’ welfare.
The party emphasized reforming taxation in PNG and pushing for an increase in the minimum wage rate to K5 per hour. Moreover, the Party was focused on going rural and helping the people to bridge the gap between the rural and urban population.
He invited the public and other political parties who have similar interest to come and join People’s Labour Party.
PNG NRI Director, Dr. Osborne Sanida in his closing remarks, acknowledged and thanked the presenters from the three political Parties and the 11 parties that have already presented.
He reiterated that the Political Parties’ Policies Seminar Series is held to strengthen the political party system through making awareness of their philosophies, vision and mission statements and policies, for 2022 NGE and beyond.
Dr Sanida said it is important to inform the population of what each party stands for so they can make an informed decision and vote along policy lines rather than on “money politics” and “big man politics”.
He also acknowledged the support of the IPPCC, the PNG-Australia Governance Partnership, and National Broadcasting Corporation in collaborating with PNG NRI to run the Seminar Series.