30 Apr 2012

No services since independence: PNG woman election contender

7:02 am on 30 April 2012

A first time contender in the Papua New Guinea elections says the extreme suffering of the people in her electorate is the reason she is putting herself forward.

Leah Angowai is standing for the Melanesian Labour Party in the Koroba-Lake Kopiago district of Hela Province and took part in last week's mock parliament for women in Port Moresby.

She says there hasn't been any development in her area since PNG gained independence from Australia in 1975.

"The lack of services here, I am standing for that one. Some other provinces they are lucky to have health services working right, their new buildings, their new roads, they're good with bridges and infrastructure, health services and education services, all these. And what about my place?"

Leah Angowai says she's got strong support from both women and men in her district and is confident of their backing when PNG goes to the polls in June.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has raised concern about threats to the rule of law in Papua New Guinea.

She has accused the Peter O'Neill government and parliament of interfering with judicial independence, and says PNG is on a slippery path to upending the constitutional order and undermining the rule of law.