Current Issues around the 2012 PNG General Elections

2:00pm – 4:00pm, 8 May 2012
Lecture Theatre 2, Hedley Bull Centre (130), Garran Road, ANU

See the video of this presentationThe Papua New Guinea parliament has moved that voting in the 2012 elections be deferred 6 months from the June-July schedule. The Electoral Commissioner has said the elections can proceed as planned and the Prime Minister says the Commissioner shall decide the date – but is questioning his tenure. Public demonstrations and numerous candidates have called for the elections to be held on schedule. The issue is being debated in terms of the preparedness of the Electoral Commission and the electoral rolls, and the capacity of the disciplined forces to assist with security issues. Elections in Papua New Guinea are notoriously troublesome, especially in the Highlands, where roll-stacking, election-related violence and conflict, widespread vote-rigging and contested results are common. The 2012 elections could be difficult, given the constitutional and political upheavals over the last year.

In this roundtable four speakers will discuss issues surrounding the 2012 elections in Papua New Guinea in light of their past experiences of observing elections.

About the Speakers

Nicole Haley is the Convenor of the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program and has been observing elections in Papua New Guinea since 1997. She co-edited the collection Election 2007: The Shift to Limited Preferential Voting in Papua New Guinea (2011).

Bill Standish is a Research Associate in the School of Culture, History and Language in the College of Asia and the Pacific, and has observed seven general elections.

Richard Evesis a Senior Fellow in the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program and was an observer during the 2007 election in the Kagua-Erave electorate in the Southern Highlands.

Chris Kenny was an officer in the PNGDF. He was based in the Southern Highlands during the 2007 elections.

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