Lawrence Stephens

TIPNG condemns changes to election laws

In a statement, TIPNG says: “The National Executive Council (NEC) has recently approved three major changes to the laws affecting candidates for elected office: Nomination fees, the campaign period and election petition costs.

“TIPNG sees the proposals as undermining the principle of equality for all.”

Lawrence Stephens, the Chairman of TIPNG, says the proposed rule changes will severely reduce the rights of citizens to participate in future elections.

TIPNG: MP’s must not lose sight of calls for reform

This was the call by Chairman of Transparency International PNG (TIPNG), Lawrence Stephens following yesterday’s Vote of No Confidence.

"Members have assembled for an important vote and have made a decision.

“This is what legislators are expected to do. Members of Parliament are also representatives of the people and many of the people have been begging parliamentarians to take note of their concerns, “said Stephens.

Stephens added that it should be clear to every politician and public servant by now that the people are concerned.

TIPNG: MPs must follow anti-bribery laws

Chairman of TIPNG, Lawrence Stephens, said Sections 61 and 62 of the Criminal Code Act 1974 clearly outlines that bribery of Members of Parliament involves, “attempts, directly or indirectly, by fraud, threats or intimidation of any kind, to influence a member of the Parliament in his vote, opinion, judgement or action on any such question or matter, or to induce him to so absent himself”.

“Our Members and each of us must be urgently reminded of the provisions pertaining to Bribery within the Act.

Perpetrators need to be brought to justice.

Chairman of TIPNG, Lawrence Stephens said amongst the students that had been sent back home were students of neighbouring countries cajoled into believing that Papua New Guinea offers a good environment for study.

“But we must not forget the reason behind the students' protest and the ongoing civil unrest," said Stephens.

Stephens said the reasons are:

TIPNG: shooting at defenceless students is simply unacceptable

Chairman of TIPNG, Lawrence Stephens said that approaching student protesters with dangerous weapons is contemptible and shooting at defenceless students is simply unacceptable.

“Papua New Guinea is being dragged into chaos by people who apparently expect impunity from the law.

“Carrying lethal weapons is surely evidence of willingness to kill students.

“This country has been dragged to the brink again and people need to step up to the challenge of preventing the situation escalating.

Govt must re-examine priorities

Chairman of TIPNG, Lawrence Stephens said the Government had first given its reassurance that all is well with the finances of Papua New Guinea.

“At the same time, the Prime Minister has told departments and institutions to cut down on spending.

“Church health services, for example, have received savage budget cuts, yet PNG is assured that all is well, just a little tight,” said Stephens.