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National Parliament

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Parliament name National Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)30 June 2007
10 July 2007
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
The 2007 elections were the first to be held under the limited preferential voting system (LPV see note) introduced by amendments to the electoral law in December 2006. The first-past-the-post system had been used for previous elections. The amendments also reduced the campaign period from eight to four weeks.

In the previous elections held in June 2002 results for six seats were invalidated due to violence and electoral fraud. At least 25 people were killed. The final results gave Prime Minister Michael Somare's National Alliance (NA) 19 seats defeating the then ruling People's Democratic Movement (PDM) which took only 12. Mr. Somare subsequently formed a coalition government with seven other parties.

The 71-year-old Mr. Somare was Papua New Guinea's first Prime Minister following independence in 1975 from Australia under a UN trusteeship and served for four mandates. He was seeking a second consecutive five-year term in the 2007 elections.

Under his fourth government the country managed to come out of the economic slump experienced in previous years. The GDP growth rate had been expected to reach 5.5 per cent in 2007. Nevertheless around 40 per cent of the population still lives on less than one dollar a day.

Prior to the 2007 elections Prime Minister Somare came in for criticism over his alleged role in helping Solomon Islands Attorney General Julian Moti to avoid extradition to Australia. Mr. Moti had been accused of having sex with minors in Australia and had reportedly escaped to the Solomon Islands aboard a Papua New Guinea defence force plane. The Australian Government urged the Papua New Guinea Government to release a report on Mr. Moti's escape and subsequently banned Papua New Guinean ministers from entering Australia. Mr. Somare accused Australia of trying to influence the election results and pledged to maintain his country's sovereignty.

The main opposition parties were the PNG Party led by former prime minister Mr. Mekere Morauta and the New Generation Party (NGP) of Mr. Bart Philemon a former finance minister sacked by Prime Minister Somare in 2006 following a leadership challenge. Both parties accused Mr. Somare's government of being corrupt and inefficient. They also pledged to maintain close ties with Australia which demands that the country implement economic reforms in cooperation with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The two parties announced that they would back the former prime minister Julius Chan of the People's Progress Party (PPP) for the post of prime minister.

In the 2007 elections over 2 700 candidates (including 101 women) from 34 political parties vied for the 109 seats at stake. Despite the financial incentives to field women candidates provided for in the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates very few female candidates were endorsed by political parties. Instead 65 women stood as independents. The NA's coalition partner the People's Action Party (PAP) endorsed four female candidates the highest number of women backed by any political party contesting the 2007 elections. Its leader Mr. Gabriel Kapris called on female voters’ support arguing that women in the country should be given a chance to make a difference in the elections.

Following criticism over numerous "ghost voters" (deceased individuals) in the electoral roll used in 2002 the Electoral Commissioner revised the electoral roll prior to the 2007 elections. The number of registered voters fell from 5.3 million to 3.9 million. Some voters claimed their names were missing from the list.

The military was deployed to ensure security. During the election campaign however violent incidents between supporters of rival parties were reported in Mount Hagen injuring several people. The 2007 elections nevertheless recorded fewer incidents than in 2002.

Due to the new electoral system which requires voters to make three choices in order of preference many candidates tried to negotiate with other candidates to obtain their supporters’ preferential votes in second and third place. Such pre-election negotiations reportedly contributed to a peaceful election campaign.

The Commonwealth-Pacific Islands Forum election assistance mission concluded that the elections were successfully conducted in all Provinces in an overwhelming atmosphere of peace and security and that the isolated incidents of violence were handled in a professional manner.

The NA remained the largest party with 27 seats. Its coalition partner the PAP and the opposition PNG followed with seven seats each. Former prime minister Julius Chan (PPP) returned to parliament alongside his son Byron. Prime Minister Somare and his son Arthur were also elected. The sole female member in the outgoing legislature Ms. Carol Kidu was once again the only woman elected to the new parliament.

On 13 August the newly elected National Parliament held its first session and re-elected Mr. Jeffrey Nape as its Speaker. Mr. Michael Somare was re-elected as Prime Minister over Mr. Chan (PPP) who was backed by the PNG Party and the NGP. Former prime minister Morauta became the opposition leader while Mr. Philemon (NGP) became his deputy.

Mr. Somare subsequently formed a coalition government comprising 14 political parties the biggest coalition since the country's independence.

The system requires voters to make three choices in order of preference from among the nominated candidates. Preferential voting requires candidates to seek support (in the form of preferences) outside their own clans and communities while ensuring that elected members of parliament hold a majority mandate from their electorates. Due to an increasing number of candidates at each election most members were elected with less than 15 per cent of the valid votes.
Voter turnout
Round no 1 (from/to)30 June 2007
10 July 2007
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
National Alliance (NA) 27
Independents 21
People's Alliance Party (PAP) 7
PNG Party 7
Pangu Party 5
People's Democratic Movement (PDM) 5
United Resources Party (URP) 5
New Generation Party (NGP) 4
People's National Congress Party (PNCP) 4
People's Progress Party (PPP) 4
Rural Development Party (RDP) 4
PNG National Party (PNGNP) 3
People's Labour Party (PLP) 3
PNG Country Party 2
United Party (UP) 2
Melanesian Liberal Party (MLP) 2
People's Party 2
People's First Party (PFP) 1
Melanesian Alliance Party (MAP) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- Electoral Commission (20.08.2007)

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