Background to the project

Considering the PNG NRI’s mandate to conduct applied economic and social research as well as dissemination of information for informed decision-making, the PNG NRI Council approved a program to focus on two sets of seminar series focussing on: (1) the preparation towards the 2022 National General Elections (NGE); and (2) the policies of PNG Political Parties. In planning and implementing these seminar series, the PNG NRI is working with the IPPCC, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), and the PNG2 Australia Governance Partnership Program, through the Australian High Commission and managing contractor, ABT Associates.

The key stakeholders are; Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs (DLPGA), Office of the Clerk of Parliament, the Royal PNG Constabulary, NBC, PNG Electoral Commission, Electoral Boundaries Commission, and the Office of the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission. The PNG NRI is mandated by the National Research Institute Act to conduct applied social and economic research to contribute to finding solutions to the issues faced by PNG in its development endeavors. Part of this mandate is to provide avenues for discourse and discussions by key stakeholders to ensure important issues are debated or disseminated for informed decision-making to address PNG’s social and economic development.

The Institute is aware of the importance of the 2022 National Elections. Therefore, leading up to the Elections, the Institute Council has approved a program focusing on issues relating to election preparation, election observation, and post-election governance matters. Considering this, I have invited key agencies that have a key role to play in the effective and efficient preparation for successful 2022 PNG National General Elections. These presentations will provide much-needed information for the wider public in the interest of good governance and a free and fair election. These presentations will be a precursor to the Seminar Series on Political Parties Policies.

The 2022 NGE will provide an opportunity for the people to elect new leaders into the Parliament. Therefore, the election preparation, campaigning, polling and counting, and formation of a government are of vital importance. Considering this, the first seminar series was organised to provide an opportunity for our key agencies to share with us the preparations for the 2022 General Elections.

The main goals of the Political Parties’ Policies Seminar Series are to:

  • strengthen the political party system through making awareness of their philosophies, vision and mission statements, policies, for 2022 NGE and
    beyond; 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.

Based on the goals, the outcomes of the Seminar Series are:

  • discussion and thinking on strengthening political parties’ policies and political party system is promoted;
  • a systematic process of communicating parties’ policies to the mainstream media for public consumption is promoted to inform voters to vote along party lines rather than voting along tribal lines or “big-man” politics;
  • intending candidates become more informed on party policies in order to encourage them to join a party for the elections and for them to make an informed decision on which party to affiliate with;
  • a discussion forum is established that can promote coalition-building among various political parties with similar policies; and 3
  • political parties' research is strengthened at PNG NRI beyond the elections to assist IPPCC, Electoral Commission, and the Government to improve political governance in PNG.