400% fee hike for PNG election candidates

1:59 pm on 20 August 2016
Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O'Neill addresses a crowd in East Sepik.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill announced the fee hike to try and address a budget shortfall at the Electoral Commission. Photo: PNG Prime MInister's Office media

Papua New Guinea's prime minister has announced that the nomination fee for candidates hoping to contest next year's election will be hiked by 400 percent.

Prospective candidates will now have to pay 10,000 kina (US$3154) to contest, instead of the previous rate of 2,000 kina (US$630).

Announcing the increase in parliament, Peter O'Neill said it was to offset a lack of funds for the Electoral Commission, which is struggling to prepare for next year's polls.

But the deputy opposition leader, Sam Basil, says increasing the fee will only give privilege to those who can afford to pay 10,000 kina and it will affect the rights of every citizen.