Wednesday 1st May 2019, Port Moresby – Members of Parliament when resigning from their political parties must do so through the prescribed processes, especially if they are joining a new party, and not just through media conferences as has been happening recently says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG).
The local anti-corruption group is also calling for the constitutional body responsible for registering political parties, the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC), to clarify to the public which parties Members of Parliament belong to before Parliament sits this month.
“There have been public statements through press conferences by Members of Parliament that they have resigned from their political parties in recent days, and yet almost all have not shown how they have done this formally through the IPPCC,” the Board of TIPNG said in a recent media release, “It is paramount to preserving Papua New Guinean democracy that an MP ensure that their electorate and the country knows they have dully registered their political affiliation as an elected representative.”
“The IPPCC is the enforcer of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC), with the power to de-register parties if they do not follow the laws. In the public interest, and before the Parliament sits, the IPPCC should release an updated list of Members of Parliament and the political parties to which they are registered. This will ensure that the constitutionally enshrined process of political party representation is not devalued for short-term benefits or self-interest,” said the Board of TIPNG.
The OLIPPAC is not without its challenges, following a successful Supreme Court challenge in 2008 which resulted in Sections 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 69, 70, 72, 73(1)(b), and 81 being declared unconstitutional. There are proposed amendments to the OLIPPAC that will seek to address these areas, but they are yet to be brought to and deliberated by Parliament.