CPS PNG on Election 2022 in Response to PM James Marape’s New Year Message
Catholic Professionals Society of PNG
“A Light and a Voice of Catholic Faith”
On Election 2022 in Response to PM James Marape’s New Year Message
Acknowledging Prime Minister James Marape’s New Year message on among other things, election 2022, the President of the Catholic Professionals Society PNG, Mr. Paul Harricknen says it is true that the electors hold the power to elect good leaders and representatives at all levels of government especially to the national Parliament and this can happen if elections are truly free and fair.
Leaders of good standing with respect to godly values and principles of good governance are required coming out of election 2022. With the passing of the Father of the Nation GGC Sir Michael Somare on 26 February 2021 and few other founding fathers, statesmen and civil servants in the likes of Sir Pita Lus, Sir Mekere and GC Sir Paulias Matane it is important that the people elect political leaders of integrity and sound character to take this country forward.
While the call is on the people to elect leaders of good standing Mr. Harricknen is calling on the Government to ensure that the election is allowed to be free from corruption and election fraud committed by election officials in favour of those in power and those with money. It has happened in the past. The 2012 and 2017 elections were big failures.
The fact is that people are not usually free to elect candidates of their choice. Candidates who have given money and done favors to the voters always ensure through their scrutineers that their votes are casted for their candidates. It is also a fact that election officials and security personnel commit election fraud by tempering with the ballot papers once the votes are casted or even before that. Not many election petition cases have been successful as many cases are dismissed on technical grounds for want of compliance with the strict election rules in favour of the elected candidates.
Ensuring all eligible voters names are on the common roll is another major challenge for the Government. Many young people have become eligible to vote in the coming elections and it is only fair that they are enrolled to vote for candidates of their choice. Young people must be given the change to vote to decide the destiny of their country.
Mr. Harricknen is calling on the Government to ensure a truly free and fair election without official corruption from those in power and those with money using election officials and security personnel if the government is serious about electing candidates of good standing in the 2022 elections for the next national Parliament.
Given the Covid-19 pandemic and to avoid any room for corruption and organized vote rigging, and to cut down on costs etc., we call for the campaign period to be further reduced from 6 weeks to 4. Candidates should focus their campaigns on development and unifying issues than divisive tactics to win by hook or crook. If candidates can run clean campaigns the voters will be allowed a level playing field for a free and fair election.
God bless PNG.
Paul Harricknen, OL