10 May 2007

Hopes new voting system in PNG will see more women in Parliament

10:02 am on 10 May 2007

There are hopes that the new Limited Preferential Voting system being brought in Papua New Guinea will help put more women in parliament.

There is only one female MP in the present parliament, Community Development Minister, Dame Carol Kidu, but when nominations close later today for the June elections it is believed dozens of women will have put their names forward.

The head of the political science department at the University of PNG, Dr Orovu Sepoe, says awareness raising by the electoral commission and NGOs about the need to seek support from other candidates in the hope they will share their preferences, may see women get more support than in the past.

"First you have to get enough ones to be in the race, because if you get the lowest just out of fifth, you could well be out of the race, eliminated. And two and three are just as important for a candidate who wants to win, so getting one, two , three, which are of equal value under the new system, is crucial to any candidate."

Dr Orovu Sepoe.