24 Jun 2003

Planned Organic Law change in PNG will limit ability of independent MPs to change allegiance

4:28 pm on 24 June 2003

Papua New Guinea's registrar of Political parties says changes to a law governing the behaviour of political parties and candidates will define the role of independent MPs and block legal loopholes.

Paul Bengo says proposed changes to the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates demands that independent MPs align themselves with a political party immediately they are elected.

Mr Bengo says independents have tended to join parties after parliament's speaker is chosen and this leads to political instability.

PNG governments have never managed to run for their full five year term. .

Mr Bengo also says the law as it now stands now only minimizes party hopping instead of stopping it, so the amendment will tighten this.

"in the last government, this important legislation was brought into force and as a result this Organic Law was put in in such a rush, and was haphazardly designed and as a result, it has created a lot of problem loopholes in the Organic Law itself."

Paul Bengo