4 Sep 2008

PNG academic says plans to reduce provincial power will not be popular

7:41 pm on 4 September 2008

A Papua New Guinea academic says moves by the national government to reduce the legislative powers of provincial administrations will be unpopular.

The government claims provincial governments aren't ensuring the proper delivery of basic services to rural people.

It's establishing a taskforce that would tour the country, and consult with the public and provincial governments about taking away their ability to legislate through provincial assemblies

A senior lecturer in politics at the University of PNG, Dr Orovu Sepoe, says she expects the plans will meet with strong resistance.

She says provincial governments have done a better job at managing their affairs than Port Moresby.

"The consultative process should be the way to go and my feeling is that there will be resistance to any attempt to re-centralise powers or concentrate powers in Waigani. And anyway, there is no guarantee and from evidence so far they [the national government] haven't even performed to deliver basic services so they can't be finger-pointing at provincial governments for failing to deliver services."

Dr Orovu Sepoe