UPNG backs major electoral review

The University of Papua New Guinea has thrown its support behind the current major review of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections and related electoral laws and systems.

The university will be running a series of seminars on certain terms of reference or topics of the review. This followed a signing of an MOU between Constitutional and Law Reform Commission Secretary, Dr Eric Kwa, and UPNG Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Vincent Malaibe on Wednesday, September 5th.

“The agreement is that we want to give some funding to these universities and they run the seminars at their own time but we expect them to give us the feedback by next month,” Dr Kwa said, adding that the ongoing nationwide consultation alone was not enough.

Out of the 13 terms of reference, the university will run seminars on Candidate Eligibility, Biometric Counting, Electoral Offences and Election Petitions.  

Data from these series of seminars will complement information collected through the consultations and other means for CLRC to come up with a report to be presented to the Government. 

Dr Kwa said these terms of reference are too technical that they be addressed by experts from the universities. He also thanked UPNG for their involvement.

Professor Malaibe said the university was happy to be part of the review to provide an independent report from the seminars to CLRC.

”In the end, the people must be heard and they will express themselves in these seminar series,” he said.

The Divine Word University, the University of Goroka and the University of Technology have agreed to enter into a similar arrangement with CRLC as well.

In the meantime, Dr Kwa has also encouraged the people of West New Britain, New Ireland and Manus provinces to turn up for the ongoing consultations and express their views on election when the consultation team start visiting them from the 10th to the 13th of September, 2018, on the final leg of the New Guinea Islands region consultations.

Consultations for Momase and Southern regions as well as for Southern Highlands, Hela and Enga will be advised through the media.

Press release