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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Registry of Political Parties raises concerns on government's ignorance on tabling OLIPPAC


The Registry of Political Parties is gravely concern about the lack of interest by the Government to table the Revised Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) in Parliament. The Revised OLIPPAC was approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) in March 2014 but still waiting to be tabled in Parliament. The Registry of Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu is concerned about the lack of interest and foresight to pass this law.


The Revised OLIPPAC was gazetted and distributed amongst the MPs since 2014 but this had somewhat failed to get any support from any MPs on the floor of Parliament. In 2015, the Registrar developed a survey question on the Revised OLIPPAC which was distributed to 52 MPs to answer and return to the Registry, out of this only 3 MPs responded. However from the questionnaire not all the questions were answered. This lack of interest shown in this survey by the MPs clearly show the lack of interest by our MPs in any issue and laws that are generated to address certain situations in the country.
MPs must know their responsibilities as MPs and Leaders. They do not only represent their electorates in Parliament but are also required to take part in important policy processes such as that initiated by the Registry of Political Parties. As MPs and Leaders they should be smart and knowledgeable about issues facing the country. As Leaders they are obliged to participate in many other activities and as responsible leaders they must accept such invitations and give all they have to such initiatives and not to act as irresponsible individuals.
The Registry has been awaiting any response or indication from the NEC, Acting Clerk of Parliament, Leader of Government Business and the Prime Minister to inform the Registry where the Revised OLIPPAC is now. When can the Registry get any indications from these responsible offices and individuals? It is so disheartening for the Registry to put all its efforts into the Revised OLIPPAC, get it twice to NEC and then to wait this long.
As the Registry has explained many times, the Revised OLIPPAC is very much influenced by two factors, the first is the Supreme Court decision of 2010 that nullified certain provisions of the law to be unconstitutional and secondly, the experiences of the Registry since 2002 in implementing the OLIPPAC. In other words the Revised OLIPPAC is an improvement to the current law by strengthening provisions that were weak and at the same time to patch the law from those provisions that were declared unconstitutional.
The focus of the Revised OLIPPAC is the political party. This is in sharp contrast to the current OLIPPAC who focuses on the behaviour of MPs but was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The activities of the Registry are now based on strengthening political parties in the country.
The Revised OLIPPAC comes with 6 constitutional amendments. These amendments have genuine justifications in improving democracy and the operations of Parliament as well as the political parties. Some critics have suggested that certain amendments are unconstitutional however if they look at the bigger picture and what the Registry wants to achieve then they would come to realise and appreciate what has been suggested to these amendments. 
The Registry has started work on strengthening political parties by looking ahead to the 2017 national election. The Registry has identified various activities build around the concept of strengthening political parties. One of these activities which is based around the strengthening of political parties is the theme for 2016 and 2017 which is “Know Your Party” “Vote Your Party”. 
The Registry has published posters that have been printed in the daily newspapers in the months of March and April 2016. The Registry would do a follow up of this with posters of parties with their party leaders and four of their main policies for the 2017 national election. A TV advertisement will be launched soon on promoting political parties in the country.
In promoting political parties, the Registry has even suggested to change the voting system and adopt one that would give prominence to parties rather than candidates. The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission has been progressive enough to have taken this suggestion on and will put it on its agenda after the 2017 national elections.
From these activities the Registry has already started the process of promoting political parties but need the Revised OLIPPAC to be passed in order to give legitimacy to what it has started by promoting political parties.

It is therefore in the interest of everyone including the Registry and the MPs to respond to this urgently as the Registry needed the Revised OLIPPAC to support its activities. The Revised OLIPPAC is for Papua New Guinea and not for only one group or person or party. To suggest otherwise is irresponsible.
The Registrar Dr Gelu therefore call on all the MPs whether in government or the opposition to support this proposed law and have it tabled in Parliament. The Registrar even called upon those sensible and good thinking MPs to raise this matter on the floor of Parliament. At the moment the Registry is kept away from knowing where the Revised OLIPPAC is now and the important questions on when it will be tabled on the floor of Parliament and why it has not been tabled in Parliament.

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 4:41 AM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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