The Council of the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI) has endorsed the 2022 Elections Observation Report covering a number of electorates and the general observations on the operations and administration of the election in the country. This will be followed by Seminar Series to invite all organisations that had Election Observations to present their findings to be followed by Bibliography on Elections and finally a Monograph or Research Report on 2022 Elections.

The first lot of Australian Government funding was used to for scholarships to political party executives and disciplinary forces and agencies involved in Elections to attend its Diploma in Economic Policy Analysis program, followed by the Election Seminar series for a weekly update from Royal PNG Constabulary, Electoral Commission, Boundaries Commission, Registry of Political Parties, Department of Provincial Affairs and Clerk of Parliament and the National Broadcasting Corporation to inform and update the people of PNG on their planning and preparations for the LLG and National Elections.

PNG NRI also facilitated the Political Parties Policies Seminar Series that saw 26 political parties out of 52 that presented their Visions and Party Policies. The proceedings were launched on 11 April 2022. PNG NRI Council Chairman, Mr. Wilson Thompson said that the PNG NRI Council notes the important role we must all play in ensuring that the Westminster system of democracy, with its established precedents and procedures, must be given effect because in PNG, its implementation is lacking. If not checked today, it will contribute to the serious issues we portray with every elected leader and the systems that we employ including governance, accountability and transparency.

The PNG NRI Elections Observations Report will be released to the public next week and in September 2022, invitations will be sent to organisations involved in Observations such as Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission, Australian National University, Transparency International, Commonwealth Secretariat, Institute of National Affairs, University of PNG and the National Research Institute to present their findings to be summarised and published as the Proceedings for distribution to all stakeholders for implementation and preparation for the 2024 LLG Elections and 2027 National Elections.

The final output in October and November 2022 is the Bibliography on Elections and the Monograph from research undertaken by PNG NRI staff, invited academics and scholars, anthropologists and priests and others from UPNG, Divine Word, Melanesian Institute and Australian National University.

This is a series of activities funded in 2021 and 2022 by the Australian Government to continue the work undertaken by PNG NRI and its predecessors, the New Guinea Research Unit of the Australian National University since the first Elections in 1964 that involved in observation, study and research of elections and political processes. The Election Reports, Joint Publications in PNG or overseas by PNG NRI staff, has played a prominent role in the political development including providing policy recommendations.

Although funded by the State, the institute operates independently as a research and policy think tank for PNG as per its legislation to engage independently to promote good governance and better information and awareness to the people of PNG that would contribute in generating and promoting discourse and debate for a better and informed PNG.

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Mr. Wilson Thompson, ML
Chairman, PNG NRI Council

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