The Context of Political Parties in PNG
A political party is defined as an organized group of people with at least roughly similar political aims and opinions, that seeks to influence public policy by getting its candidates elected to public office. Papua New Guinea has a multi-party system. The government of the day is usually described by a stiff competition between several parties to create a factionalized coalition government. The formation of national governments, since independence in 1975, has followed a similar trend, with political parties competing for a better chance to form the next coalition government. Multi-party competition reduces the possibility of other political systems being introduced and jeopardizing our adopted democratic Westminster system of government. This system tends to promote coalition governments, as no single party is large enough to form government by itself. Since the formation of the first indigenous government in 1975, no government has served out a full five year term, until 2002 when the Somare led a coalition where he was able to stay in power for a full term. PNG has a highly fragmented, factionalized, unstable and undisciplined party system. This becomes obvious following elections or votes of no confidence, when political parties lobby each other to form the next government. The main feature of party competition during this period is party hopping by disloyal and undisciplined members of Parliament. However, the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) was introduced to regulate the behavior of political parties and candidates, and prevent this.
Before the introduction of the OLIPPAC, the party system in PNG was comparatively weak, in performance and sustainability. This trend continues, despite the introduction of the OILPPAC because of the political behavior of members, and lack of party discipline. There are four main factors besides others in our party system including;...
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