Tag Archives: Politics

New political party emerges

A new political party has emerged in the political landscape of the country, branding and shifting other parties to form it.

 

 

Party president and former police commissioner and chief ombudsman, Sir Ila Geno, today announced the formation of the new party – The Alliance – in Port Moresby.

 

The Alliance is borne out of a number of likeminded members of parliament, particularly from the Opposition, consisting of different political parties and Independent MPs.

 

Sir Ila said rule of law, governance and effective public service administration, monitor and check corruption is the core responsibility of The Alliance.

 

“As President I am in close liaison with the Registry of the Political Parties and Candidates Commission to ensure a smooth transition of all the political parties merged to form The Alliance,” Sir Ila stated.

 

Madang MP Bryan Kramer has been recruited to set down the foundation to prepare the new party alongside its president and legal advisor, Nemo Yalo, for launch next year.

 

He said they are in discussion with other high profile members of the opposition to join the party, which will be launched in February 2018.

 

They will be targeting the educated elites using technology and social media platforms.

 

Papua New Guinea has 45 political parties, 22 of which make up the 10th parliament.

 

Eight of those parties are in the Opposition, which consists of 28 members.

Source: Loop PNG

Six MPs To Be Referred

 

non-compliance of election returns

BY MATTHEW VARI

Six Members of Parliament may be investigated by the Ombudsman Commission next month for breaches of the Leadership Code.

Most MPs in the 111-seat Parliament have complied with 2017 National Election requirements by filing election returns with the Registry of Political Parties and Candidates.

Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates Dr Alphonse Gelu said the six non-compliant MPs, which he refused to name, would be investigated by the Ombudsman Commission in January 2018.

 

“We will hold the names back but it has come to a point where we will say enough and I will disclose the names and at the same time I will write to the Ombudsman Commission (OC) to refer them for misconduct,” Dr Gelu said.

“That is very clear. We are trying to give them the opportunity to come and submit but they will still have to be fined.”

A K2000 fine along with K840 each for 42 days since the October 31 deadline lapsed. That will then blow out to K12,000 fine and K7320 for all 61 days lapsed by January 1, next year for all six MPs.

“I will write individually to these MPs to tell them that they are now referred and we will do it. Some gave their returns late and have accepted to pay the fine and those payments will go to Finance.”

Under section 89 of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.

A successful candidate is required to lodge with the registrar a financial return specifying details of contributions received and details of expenditure incurred in connection with the election.

The financial return should contain each contributor, name and address, date of contribution receipt, where contribution was made either in cash or in another form and the amount and expenditure particulars of those.

Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick said he was aware of the issue and would act when he receives instructions from Dr Gelu.

Dr Gelu also indicated that political parties and MPs that lodged their returns and were being verified by his officers to ensure all information were in place.

He said that parties without MPs that have not submitted their election expenditure reports would not be deregistered but will face fines. Only failure to produce annual reports for two successive years would qualify for instant deregistration.

“The election it is a one-off thing which comes every five years; we will fine them and the payment is quiet high K5000 and more for the days after the October 31 deadline.

Sourc: Post-Courier

Photo Credit: Loop PNG

 

New Bill Passed 

Parliament today (24/11/17) passed the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance Bill with 85 votes to nil.

 

 

The Bill repeals the Papua New Guinea Institute of Public Administration Act 1993.

 

This means the Administrative College known as ADCOL, at Waigani, will now be changed to PILAG.

 

The passing of this Bill aligns with the Government’s strategic priorities of training and developing public sector leaders, focused on service delivery.

 

The PILAG will be an independent statutory and have its own board of management.

 

The chairman of the board will be an appointed chairman engaged through proper executive search as a fit and proper person defined in the PILAG Act.

 

However, the Institute is not a Department of the National Public Service and is not subject to the application of the Public Services Management Act 2014.

 

Meantime, the Institute has all the necessary power to do all things in connection with the performance of its functions.

Author: Freddy Mou

Australia responds to Manus asylum seekers

Source: Loop PNG

2nd November 2017

 

This was the firm stance by Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, following yesterday’s closure of the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

 

 

“The Coalition Government has had a clear and consistent policy since coming to office.”

 

 

Dutton says the Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) who are refusing to leave the RPC have been aware since May this year that the PNG authorities would close the RPC on the 31st of October.

 

 

“Indeed the Government of Papua New Guinea indicated from mid-2016 that it would move to close the RPC.”

 

 

He points out that have been informed for a considerable period of time that there is safe and secure alternate accommodation where health and other services will be maintained.

 

 

“Refugees can relocate to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre or West Lorengau Haus.

 

 

“Those who have been found not to be refugees should relocate to Hillside Haus.”

 

 

The Minister brushes aside claims of inhumane treatment of refugees whilst at the centre, stating the constant claims of IMAs and advocates about their situation in Manus are nothing more than subterfuge.

 

 

“They have long claimed the Manus RPC was a ‘hellhole’ – but the moment it was to be closed, they demanded it be kept open.

 

 

“They claim to fear for their safety if they leave the RPC, but held no such fears for a long period of time as around 200 of them, each and every day, travelled to and from Lorengau township, some staying in the town for extended periods of time.”

 

 

Dutton says PNG’s processing of these IMAs has been completed and there are clear pathways ahead of them.

 

 

“Those found to be refugees can settle within Papua New Guinea as agreed under the arrangement struck between the previous Rudd Labor Government and the Government of Papua New Guinea in 2013,” states the Minister.

 

 

“The Australian Government has provided reasonable alternate pathways for those who do not wish to resettle in PNG; specifically they can apply for resettlement in the United States or apply to move to Nauru.”

 

 

He says those who have been found not to be refugees are in PNG illegally and should return to their country of origin as hundreds already have done.

 

 

“The governments of PNG and Australia will facilitate voluntary returns.

 

 

“These people sought to subvert Australia’s laws by paying people smugglers to bring them illegally to Australia by boat – none will ever resettle here.”

 

 

Meantime on Monday, PNG’s Immigration and Border Security Minister, Petrus Thomas, stated that PNG still needs to sit with Australia to review the Regional Resettlement Agreement.

 

 

“The RRA is still current, but because of the date of the 31st we are just reviewing the RRA.

 

 

“Because the main idea of bringing the asylum seekers in was to process them, so now we’ve identified the refugees from the non-refugees, after the 31st we have to look for a way forward on how Australia will support them in the third country.”

 

 

(Immigration Minister Peter Dutton – Picture: Sky News)

Decentralisation Partnership Puts Focus On Local Priorities

 

Source: Post-Courier

The Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia have entered into a new arrangement that will focus on improving service delivery and economic opportunities in the nation’s provinces and districts.

 

 

 

The Partnership Arrangement for Improved Decentralisation and Service Delivery was signed at Parliament House by Kevin Isifu MP, Minister for Inter-Government Relations Richard Maru MP, Minister for National Planning and Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis.

 

 

 

The Partnership will support Papua New Guinea’s priority of improving service delivery, economic opportunities and community development, by empowering provinces and districts.

 

 

 

Under the Partnership, Australia and Papua New Guinea will work together to strengthen Papua New Guinea’s decentralised system of government and maximise development outcomes on the ground.

 

 

 

MrDavis, said Australia is committed to supporting PNG to strengthen communities and service delivery throughout the country.

 

 

 

“We are pleased to be partnering with the Government to deliver on its vision for decentralised government, to meet the needs of the nation’s people,” Mr Davis said.

 

 

 

“This partnership will support Papua New Guineans to find local solutions for local challenges. Where provinces and districts are willing to take the initiative in applying their own resources to improve service delivery and increase economic opportunities, Australia will work with them to identify how we can add value,” he added.

 

 

 

The Partnership will also engage Papua New Guineans in the development of their communities, fostering cooperation among a range of community stakeholders to address service delivery and development challenges.

 

 

 

Mr Davis said the partnership for decentralisation was the newest element of the broader, evolving, economic partnership between Australia and Papua New Guinea, founded on shared history, shared future and people-to-people links.

Govt To Unwind LNG Revenue Conditions

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI

 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says his government is in the process to relook at agreements to see foreign revenues from gas sales that find their way into the country.
Responding to the foreign currency woes currently faced, he said with the continuous sale of LNG, a precursor for foreign currency inflows – the agreement signed by past governments were designed unfairly for the country to keep the funds overseas. Mr O’Neill said this when East Sepik Governor Allan Bird asked why the sale of a shipment of gas at US$50 million, every three days, could not alleviate the forex issue.

 
“They have allowed exporters and proponent, developers to park all these revenues overseas. While we are making the exports they have been allowing them to park the money overseas and the money is not coming back into the country.”

 
“That is the reason why we are not receiving enough foreign currency even though we are making the exports,” Mr O’Neill said.

 
“Agreements have been designed very unfairly for Papua New Guinea. There have been of course smart economists in the past always thought that the fear of the Dutch disease, what they call that there is too much foreign currency in the economy.”

 
He said this fear has resulted in the parking of funds outside of the country through the agreements signed by the previous regime that took the lead in the LNG negotiations.
“We are trying to unwind that, talking to some of the project developers that they must bring in foreign currency that is rightfully Papua New Guinea’s back into the country.”

Women Applaud O’Neill

 

BY YOMBI KEP of Post-Courier 

Women from the Peoples National Congress (PNC) party have come out to thank the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for his concern in seriously addressing the issue of women representation in the 10th National Parliament.

 
PNC Party women who had gathered in Port Moresby, said they supported the Prime Minister in his idea of having one male governor and one female governor but elected by everyone in each province and the implication that it will have from the current parliament of 111 members of Parliament to 133.

 
“We, the party women, are proud of our party leader and prime minister, who is open-minded about women’s role in the development of Papua New Guinea,” said Kathy Tom, a member of the ruling party.

 
“PNC will create history in the world when it takes a bold step to pass law to ensure with certainty the representation of women from the provinces through the women who would be elected as Governors.”

 
The group said they understand that there is a lot of work to be done but they are ready and willing to work with the prime minister to make this a reality before the next General Election in 2022.

Papua New Guinea Expresses Gratitude for Australian Support

 

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has welcomed ongoing partnership activities between Papua New Guinea and Australia that are building capacity in healthcare, and providing ongoing support for the hosting of APEC in 2018.

 

 

Following a courtesy call by H.E. Bruce Davis, Australia’s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea on Friday, PM O’Neill said the bilateral relationship with Australia continues to strengthen.

 

 

“The ongoing co-operation between our two Governments is very strong which is also enhancing business links, and delivering capacity building support,” PM O’Neill said.

 

 

“Australia’s commitment to improving healthcare in Papua New Guinea is delivering tangible results, particularly in dealing with diseases such as HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis.

 

 

“Co-operation activities are underway, together with World Bank support, to deal with TB in areas that include Western Province, Gulf Province and Port Moresby, and this is saving lives.

 

 

“We thank Australia for this ongoing healthcare co-operation that is also strengthening infrastructure and service delivery.

 

 

“Current projects include the new nursing school, dental clinic and maternal and child health ward at Angau Hospital.”

 

 

PM O’Neill said Australian support and co-operation is particularly important as Papua New Guinea prepares to host APEC.

 

 

“In 2018 the leaders of APEC’s 20 other Member Economies, together with more than 15 thousand delegates, will come to Papua New Guinea.

 

 

“This is an enormous logistical undertaking, and Australia is providing support that is building our capacity, particularly in the area of safety and security.

 

 

“I have expressed my appreciation to High Commissioner Davis for the support that Australia is providing, including the allocation of Australian Federal Police in a training and mentoring capacity.

 

 

“Papua New Guinea will deliver a very safe and successful APEC year and Leader’s Summit in 2018, and we thank Australia for their ongoing contribution.”

 

 

During the courtesy call the Prime Minister and High Commissioner further discussed the closure of the Manus Regional Processing Centre, that is underway as planned, and the outcome and processes of the 2017 National Election.

 

 

The Prime Minister advised that a review of the election is due to begin, from which lessons learnt will be considered.

 

 

As part of this review the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission will seek perspectives and advice from its counterpart, the Australia Electoral Commission.

2 International Observers & 5 Staff Members to Observe Elections

*** Election Observers Visit Country ***

Commonwealth Observer Mission chairman and former New Zealand Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand arrived in Port Moresby yesterday for a pre-election visit this week.
He was accompanied by Albert Mariner, who is the head of the Caribbean and Pacific Section Political Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
“This is a pre-election visit undertaken by the chairman of the group, Sir Anand Satyanand, who will be here for a couple of days,” Mariner told The National.

“Sir Ananad is hoping to meet with key stakeholders involved in the elections.

“We’re here at the invitation of the Prime Minister (Peter O’Neill) and the Electoral Commissioner (Patilias Gamato).

“The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth has responded positively and is very appreciative that Sir Anand is available to lead the Commonwealth observers in PNG’s election.”

Mariner said there would be 12 international observers in the mission and five staff members.

“We’re hoping to have advance observers on the ground by early June, probably two or three international observers, and then the main group should be on the ground by June 19 with Sir Anand,” Mariner said.

Mariner said the mission was a long-standing commitment of the Commonwealth to support Papua New Guinea’s election and democracy.

“We’ve been working very closely with the Electoral Commission and providing support,” he said.

“We were here last year in November, with a legal expert helping Commissioner Gamato out, in the reviewing of the framework that guides the commission in its efforts to update the voters.

“This is the ongoing support to the Electoral Commission as well.”

The terms of reference for the group are:

  • It is established by the Commonwealth Secretary-General at the invitation of the PNG Government;
  • It is to consider various factors impinging on the credibility of the electoral process as a whole;
  • It will determine in its own judgement whether the elections have been conducted according to the standards for democratic elections to which the country has committed itself, with reference to national election-related legislation as well as to relevant Commonwealth, regional and other international norms and commitments;
  • It is to act impartially and independently. It has no executive role: its function is not to supervise but to observe the process as a whole and to form a judgement accordingly. It is also free to propose to the authorities concerned such action on institutional, procedural and other matters as would assist the holding of such elections; and
  •  It is to submit a report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General who will forward to the Government of PNG, the PNG Electoral Commission and leaders of political parties, and thereafter all Commonwealth member governments.

The National Newspaper May 25, 2017

NA Withdraws From Government

THE National Alliance Party has announced the party’s withdrawal and resignation of all its ministers in government.
NA Party leader and former treasury minister Patrick Pruaitch said the NA parliamentary wing unanimously agreed to withdraw from the coalition government following the sidelining of the party leader.
The parliamentary wing that attended the meeting yesterday to announce the withdrawal included Mr Pruaitch, Sir Michael Somare, Deputy Speaker John Simon, Jim Simatab, Amkat Mai, Salio Waipo, Richard Mendani, party officials and candidates, including party president Walter Schnaubelt.
Mr Schnaubelt said after the 2012 general election, PNC won the mandate to form the government and National Alliance was the first political party to be extended the invitation to form the government with PNC.
“By accepting the invitation, NA committed itself to honour the mandate the people of PNG gave to PNC for five years, the term ended when the writs were issued on the April 20, 2017.
“During that five years NA did everything in good times and bad times to support the PNC-led government. Our yes was a yes and our no was a no, we respect the prime minister, and he has the powers to commission and decommission any minister.”
Mr Schnaubelt said NA Party parliamentary leader was sidelined last week and the executives met and decided that sidelining the parliamentary leader was also a decision to sideline the Party.
Mr Pruaitch said the decision to sideline him is saying to National Alliance that “it is time we break this marriage and move on.
“It is now an opportunity for National Alliance to go to the polls and seek the mandate from our people, and we are moving on as a party to try and win enough seats to form the next government.
“A lot of people will be asking questions, why now, as you know NA Party is very supportive of stability in our country. We have stayed true to our words in terms of our Alotau Accord, we have remained until recently when PM and I had different views in terms of managing the economy.”http://postcourier.com.pg/na-withdraws-govt/

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