Lae Women’s Representative Urges Strengthening of Governance in Government System Review Consultation

The Papua New Guinea Constitutional and Law Reform Commission recently held a nationwide consultation in Lay to review the country’s form and system of government. The consultation aimed to gauge the public’s view on the election of the Prime Minister by the people as opposed to the current system where the Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor General following Parliament’s recommendation.

During the consultation, Women’s Representative in Lae, Nelly McLay outlined that PNG already has three levels of government: national, provincial, and local. According to McLay, the system of government is already there, and it just needs strengthening of governance to effectively serve the people. “Because I think it’s important that everyone understands systems of government, and right now, what I’m saying is that people are not happy,” McLay said.

McLay expressed that the three-tier system of government, from the national government to the provincial right down to the LLG to the ward level, should not be changed. “I rather deal with the devil I know than the devil I don’t know. Tighten the screws on the system, no corruption should be in any of the law, from the board to right up to the national government. Everyone should be accountable from the Members of Parliament right down to the councils, how they spend the money on service delivery doesn’t matter whether it’s the education system, the health system, community development, or the youth or women. There are people should be happy at the what level. The what level people should be happy. You don’t look at the national government, you look at the people who are the recipients who are receivers of health services, education, community development, or even agriculture. These are all the things that should be discussed at this level, and we want to change the system for what? We don’t know what is going to happen,” McLay added.

McLay also asked which country PNG will be based on if the system changes. Meanwhile, young activist and founder of Young Leaders Alliance, Sophia Teio, expressed similar sentiments, adding that the current system needs to be reviewed, and we need to see whatever that is working. “So let it go through a review, and we see what works for us as a nation,” Teio said.

The nationwide consultation on the review of the form and system of government is a significant step in ensuring that the government system in PNG serves the people effectively. It is important to consider the public’s views and opinions in determining the future of the country’s governance system.

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