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Electoral engineering in Papua New Guinea: lessons from Fiji and elsewhere

Fraenkel, Jonathan (2004) Electoral engineering in Papua New Guinea: lessons from Fiji and elsewhere. Pacific Economic Bulletin, 19 (1). pp. 122-133. ISSN 0817-8038

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The South Pacific’s two largest independent island states embraced bold institutional reform packages at the turn of the millennium. Both Papua New Guinea and Fiji shifted away from first-past-the-post (or plurality) systems and adopted instead variants of the Australian-style ‘alternative vote’ system1. Both introduced new legislation designed to limit parliamentarians’ ability to cross the floor in the hope of strengthening the role of political parties. Both countries also saw their prime ministers, who were the key architects of these reforms, badly defeated at the first elections held under the new systems they had introduced. Fiji’s reforms were introduced as part of a new constitution in 1997, and two elections since (1999 and 2001) have provided some opportunity to assess and analyse the impact of the new legislation. Papua New Guinea’s electoral reforms, introduced in 2001–2002, remain largely untested, although legislation governing party and government formation came into force before the 2002 polls and the new electoral laws apply to by-elections thereafter, and to the forthcoming general elections scheduled for 2007. This paper seeks to explore lessons that the Fiji experience may provide for Papua New Guinea.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Government, Development and International Affairs
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2004 08:13
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2012 04:36

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