PNG Opposition to challenge 'draconian' nomination fee

10:26 am on 5 November 2016

Papua New Guinea's parliamentary opposition is to challenge the government's proposal to increase the nomination fee in the Supreme Court if passed

When delivering its Budget this week the government said it was planning to hike the national election nomination fee ten fold to K10,000 or US$3,150 per candidate.

The Opposition Leader Don Polye said they would take the matter to the court if the government used its numerical strength to bulldoze the fee hike through parliament.

Papua New Guinea opposition leader Don Polye.

Papua New Guinea opposition leader Don Polye. Photo: Supplied

He said that given $US125 million was earmarked for the 2017 National Election in the budget, there are questions why the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is proposing the fee hike.

Mr O'Neill signalled the planned fee hike was to offset a lack of funds for the Electoral Commission ahead of the polls, but Mr Polye describes it as an 'unconstitutional and draconian law to cripple a certain group of people.'

He said the proposal would deny the rights of citizens to contest the election next year, adding it will limit vast majority of aspiring candidates to contest 111 seats in the country.