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PNG Governor-General expected to return election writs

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PNG Governor-General expected to return election writs

Papua New Guinea election voting
Papua New Guinea election voting
Governor-General of Papua New Guinea Sir Bob Dadae is expected to return election writs today after PM James Marape was reelected with unanimous support – Photo: Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Governor-General of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Sir Bob Dadae is expected to return election writs today.

Certification of July’s election was delayed more than two weeks due to vote counting disruptions, burning of completed ballots and widespread violence between supporters of rival candidates.

On Tuesday, PNG’s incumbent PM James Marape returned to his position with unanimous support from PNG’s entire parliament despite ongoing vote counting in 13 seats. Marape also announced that his government would focus on improving the electoral process, promoting law and order and delivering basic services including utilities, education and healthcare. Last Friday, former PM Peter O’Neill failed to convince the country’s Supreme Court to delay the sitting of parliament until the counting of any outstanding seats concluded.

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Expect Marape to try to tamp down post-election violence by sending more soldiers and police to areas with outstanding parliamentary seats, although success will depend on security forces effectiveness at enforcing government authority. In the long term, Marape’s government will likely increase investment in the country’s police and basic services deliveries in order to head-off further political instability. Expect PNG’s next scheduled election in 2027 to be as violent and corrupt as 2022’s unless the country’s political tribalism and poverty are addressed.

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