MP fee hike in PNG about reducing independents - INA

11:23 am on 7 November 2016

An analyst in Papua New Guinea says planned changes to election nomination fees will strengthen the key parties and weaken the democratic process.

Papua New Guinea Kina.

Fees to nominate candidates in the PNG election have been raised. Photo: RNZI

When revealing the Budget last week the PNG Government said it was planning to hike the national election nomination fee ten fold to K10,000 or US$3,150 per candidate.

It said the fees haven't gone up in more than 30 years and the election process is becoming increasingly expensive.

Modern PNG elections have thousands of candidates, with many of them standing as independents.

Paul Barker of the Institute of National Affairs said the move is partly about cutting the numbers of independents.

"The independents always form an important of the parliament and even though, after they get elected most of them then align themselves and become a little bit less independent, as they go along, when they are trying to become ministers or whatever. It discourages the democratic process and gives some benefit to the major parties," he said.

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