Political parties in PNG could face de-registration
Around 30 parties in Papua New Guinea could be de-registered for NOT submitting their election expenses incurred during last year's election.
About 30 parties in Papua New Guinea could be de-registered for not submitting their election expenses incurred during last year's election.
PNG's registrar of political parties Dr Alphonse Gelu has already referred nine MPs to the Ombudsman Commission for failing to submit their financial returns.
He told Bridget Tunnicliffe that politicians need to be sent a clear message that they must abide by the law.
ALPHONSE GELU: It's a really big issue here in PNG, but we don't follow the law. This is one of the those things I've been trying to do. For the first time, I hope it's sending messages out to our potential leaders, current leaders that in future when you contact ... you need to comply with this requirement of the organic law.
BRIDGET TUNNICLIFFE: What about the actual parties themselves? Do parties have to submit financial returns?
AG: Yes, parties, as well. This has been designed for parties also to submit their expenses to my office. For the parties, the record is very, very poor. For the election in 2012, 42 political parties participated. And out of the 42 political parties only about 12 of the parties submitted their returns. So for the parties there is a process that is in place, a process in law that my office has to go through in dealing with the political parties for possible deregistration. So what I'm doing now is sitting with my officers and going to those political parties and we will see what we can do with these political parties. But one of the issues facing political parties is for the majority of those political parties that have not submitted these are very small political parties, they don't have any members in parliament. So to them they think that because they don't have any members in parliament they don't need to submit to my office the election expenses, but that is not correct. So in a different dilemma that we are facing in relation to trying to get political parties to comply, these are very small political parties that will not make any contribution, they will not make any impact. They don't have members in parliament. They don't have any money. So this is one of those dilemmas we are facing, so we are closely looking the future of these little parties, whether they should continue to exist or we should get rid of them.
BT: Could you also hand on this issue to the Ombudsman?
AG: Under the organic law it says that all those parties that have complied with the law my office will deal with them directly because of the process of registration and deregistration we are the ones that register them and we are the ones that can also deregister them if they don't comply. So another thing that will be enforced for the political parties is reassurance for my office as per the organic law. For me, I'm keen on doing that because we have a lot of political parties that are not going to make any impact. If they don't comply with the ultimatum I don't see any reason why they should still exist.
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