11 May 2007

Rising cost of fighting elections in PNG discriminates against the poor

11:44 am on 11 May 2007

Dame Carol Kidu, the caretaker minister of community development in Papua New Guinea, says elections have become more expensive to fight, and this is fostering more corruption in the build up to next month's poll.

She says campaigning in PNG is hard with the corruption among some of the people themselves, some candidates and sometimes corruption of the system.

Dame Carol says it is hoped the new electoral processes will change attitudes.

But she fears that eventually only the rich or those able to raise funds will be able to stand.

"There's an increased use of money, not just through the use of logistics of the campaign but blatant handing out fairly large sums of money into the communities, and this is happening over recent years and it did not happen in the past and it is become more and more common in many parts of the country, not all, and some people talk about a prepaid election like a prepaid phone card you like one vote being worth some much."