PNG Country Party

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PNG Country Party
President Nelson Duwabane [1]
Secretary Rose Kepo [1]
Founder Sinake Giregire
Founded March 1974 (1974-03)
National Parliament
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The Papua New Guinea Country Party is a political party in Papua New Guinea.

It was founded by Sinake Giregire in March 1974 in advance of Papua New Guinean independence, drawing members largely from the United Party.[2][3][4] The party's policy was largely based on agricultural, resource and other economic development.[5] The conservative Australian Country Party reportedly agreed to provide assistance to the new party.[6] It was involved in the Nationalist Pressure Group in debates surrounding the formation of the Constitution of Papua New Guinea. Giregire was defeated by John Guise in a bid to become the first Governor-General of Papua New Guinea in 1975, but the party successfully nominated Tore Lokoloko as the second Governor-General in 1977.[5][7] Giregire lost his seat at the 1977 election.[8]

Giregire revived the party for the 2002 election after years of inactivity, with ex-politicians Albert Mokai, Mackenzie Dauge, James Ibras and Bionte Heruo as regional co-ordinators. Giregire described the party's ideology as conservative but "more aggressive in addressing basic fundamentals of the society", specifically targeting the rural population.[4] Former MP Roy Buaki Singeri and rugby star Dekot Koki were also among the party's candidates.[9] Giregire was defeated, finishing third in his seat.[8] Kompiam-Ambium candidate Dickson Maki was the only one to be elected, but declared himself an independent before joining the People's Action Party only days after his election.[10][11]

It was relaunched again in October 2006 when MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham, formerly from the People's Progress Party, crossed to the Country Party and accepted the leadership with the support of Giregire.[12] Maxtone-Graham was re-elected for the Country Party in the 2007 election and was joined by Jim Nomane, who won in Chuave Open.[13][14] Maxtone-Graham and Nomane both crossed to other parties during that term, and Giregire died in January 2012.[5] The party briefly regained a parliamentary seat when Minister for Environment and Conservation Thompson Harokaqveh crossed to the party and assumed the leadership in April 2012.[15] Harokaqveh lost his own seat at the 2012 election, but two new MPs were elected at the election: Jeffrey Kuave (Lufa Open) and Richard Mendani (Kerema Open). Both MPs defected to the People's National Congress in May 2013.[16]

The party has not had parliamentary representation since 2013, but party president Nelson Duwabane remains politically active, having been outspoken about legal issues surrounding defecting MPs.[17][18] The party is registered to contest the 2017 election.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "REGISTRY OF POLITICAL PARTIES". Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 April 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "The origins of PNG's independence". Australian Associated Press. 8 September 2005. 
  3. ^ Rich, Roland, Hambly, Luke & Morgan, Michael G. Political Parties in the Pacific Islands. ANU ePress. p. 86. 
  4. ^ a b "Veteran politician revives Country Party for 2002 poll". PNG Post-Courier. 14 May 2001. 
  5. ^ a b c "Knight Sir Sinake Giregire is dead". PNG Post Courier. 5 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Daily report: Asia & Pacific, Issues 127-136. Foreign Broadcast Information Service. 
  7. ^ "PNG's first G-G Sir John Guise". PNG Post-Courier. 9 February 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Goroka's shining knight". Weekend Courier. 29 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "GENERAL ELECTIONS 2002 - ROUND-UP In Brief.". PNG Post-Courier. 9 April 2002. 
  10. ^ "New elections for six SHP seats". PNG Post-Courier. 2 August 2002. 
  11. ^ "PAP numbers swell to 10". PNG Post Courier. 8 August 2002. 
  12. ^ "Party eyes comeback". PNG Post Courier. 27 October 2006. 
  13. ^ "Small parties fared well in elections". PNG Post Courier. 2 August 2007. 
  14. ^ "Nomane wins back seat". PNG Post Courier. 27 July 2007. 
  15. ^ "Harokaqveh to lead party". PNG Post Courier. 23 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Gelu worried over MPs' party-hopping". PNG Post Courier. 21 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Support for law to stregthen parties". PNG Post Courier. 21 March 2016. 
  18. ^ "Gelu urged to stay out of party issues". PNG Post Courier. 19 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Total number of parties 34: Gelu". The National. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Orlegge, W. T. (2002) "Goroka Open: From Rural Capitalist to Educated Elites?" Catalyst. Melanesian Institute.
  • Goroka Gazette. 1967. Goroka.
  • Highlands News. 1971, 1972, 1973. Goroka.
  • Woolford, D. Assignment New Guinea.
  • Hastings, P. Politics of Papua New Guinea.