Papua New Guinea In the year 2002 Papua New Guinea was dominated by the general elections and the continued downturn of the economy. In the first half of the year, the entire government and public service virtually stood still as political parties and other aspirants prepared for the June elections. By early March, it was clear that the leading contenders were the National Alliance (na) led by the country's first prime minister, Michael Somare (better known as "Chief"), and the ruling party, People's Democratic Movement (pdm), led ostensibly by Mekere Morauta but in reality by Paias Wingti, another former prime minister. While strong personalities rather than parties have dominated PNG politics since independence, this time there was an attempt to strengthen the hand of political parties via legislation. Late in 2001, a new law, the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Bill, had been promulgated, barring candidates who stood under the banner of political parties in the forthcoming election from switching their support to another party or individual during the vote for the prime ministership. The new law also gave to the party with the largest number of elected members of Parliament the first right to nominate for
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Aug 7, 2003
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