29 Jun 2007

Benefits from new voting system showing as Papua New Guineans prepare to go to polls

10:04 am on 29 June 2007

Papua New Guineans go to the polls this weekend to vote under a preferential system that has already caused a marked reduction in violence and intimidation.

Violence has been common place during past PNG elections and it helped prompt the new Limited Preferential Voting system, or LPV.

Observers say it is helping to make candidates more co-operative as they try not alienate voters.

Peter Aitsi from Transparency International in PNG says the experience of a woman candidate contesting a Highlands seat with 30 others gives an indication of how the newfound co-operation works.

"Her report to us is that she has gone into the villages and the areas of other candidates to do her campaigning on the back of the LPV. They have welcomed her in there and they in turn have come into her area and have been able to campaign. So of all they things that I have witnessed that is a very welcome sign that there is an openess in the campaigning amongst the candidates."