PNG Political System:
Papua New Guinea is a parliamentary democracy governed under
the constitution of 1975. The monarch of Great Britain is the head of
state and is represented by the
governor-general. The government is headed by the prime minister, who
is appointed by the governor-general. The unicameral National Parliament
consists of 109 members who are popularly elected for five-year terms.
Administratively, the country is divided into 20 provinces.
Papua New Guinea had a history of changes in government coalitions and
leadership from within Parliament during the five-year intervals between
national elections. In 2001 when Sir Mekere Morauta was the then Prime
Minister, his government brought in a series of electoral reforms, designed
to address instability and corruption. Among the reforms was the introduction
of the Limited Preferential Vote system (LPV), a modified version of Alternative
vote, for future elections in PNG. (The introduction of LPV was partly
in response to calls for changes in the voting system by Transparency
International and the European Union.) The first general election to use
LPV was held in 2007. New governments are protected by law from votes
of no confidence for the first 18 months of their incumbency, and no votes
of no confidence may be moved in the 12 months preceding a national election.
So far the current government has enjoyed stability for a second consecutive
term. The next National General Election is in 2012.
There are many parties, but party allegiances are weak. Winning candidates
are usually courted in efforts to forge the majority needed to form a
government, and allegiances are fluid. No single party has yet won enough
seats to form a government in its own right. For Political Party information