PNG watchdog says no to planned fee hike

10:17 am on 9 November 2016

A watch dog group in Papua New Guinea is opposing government plans for a ten-fold increase in the fee that prospective MPs need to pay.

Last week the government announced it would increase the nomination charge for people wanting to run in the national election from $US310 to $US3,100.

It said this was necessary because of the soaring costs of running the election.

But Transparency PNG's chairman, Lawrence Stephens, said years ago, when there was a previous push to raise the fee, the matter went to court and the judge's ruling then is still relevant.

"If one goes back to look at what the judges said in the first case it would have to be classed as an unreasonable way of keeping the poor out of politics, reserving political office for those who can find large amounts of money. And that's been our concern," he said.

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