Papua New Guinea Politics

According to allcitycodes, Papua New Guinea is a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth (formerly British) of nations. The head of state is the Queen of England. It is represented by the Governor General, appointed by the Queen at the choice of the Papua New Guinea government. Legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament (House of Assembly). Its 109 deputies are elected by popular vote for 5 years: one each from 20 provinces and 89 from electoral districts. The next elections are in 2007. The head of the executive branch is the Prime Minister (Michael Somare, since 2002). At his suggestion, the governor-general appoints the government – the National Executive Council. It usually features a coalition of several parties. Therefore, in a political sense, the country is sometimes called Pacific Italy. Administrative division: 19 provinces and the Capital Region. The largest city in the country is the capital Port Moresby.

The most famous and authoritative person is Michael Somare, the founding father of the independent state of Papua New Guinea, the head of its first government and the current one (again called to power to stabilize the internal political situation).

Main political parties: People’s Progressive Party (16 seats in Parliament), Pangu Pati (United Party of Papua New Guinea, 15), National Alliance (leader M. Somare, 15), People’s Democratic Movement (break away from Pangu Pati, 9), People’s the National Congress (7), the Popular Action Party (5), the United Party (3), the National Party (1), the Melanesian Alliance (supports the autonomy of the island of Bougainville), etc. Political party allegiance and political alliances are highly fluid. A law has recently been passed that prohibits parliamentarians from leaving the parties they are elected from and provides for other changes aimed at the 2007 elections.

The foreign policy of Papua New Guinea is based on maintaining close ties with Australia and partners in the Pacific Islands Forum (formerly UTF), the countries of Southeast Asia (Papua New Guinea is an associate member of ASEAN), as well as with Japan, the USA, and China.

The armed forces of Papua New Guinea include the Ground Forces, the operational elements of the Navy and the Air Force. The share of military spending in GDP is 1.4% (2002).

Papua New Guinea has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1976).

The economy remains backward. GDP per capita – only 700 US dollars (2.4 thousand dollars in purchasing power parity). The average annual GDP growth rate in 1984–93 was 4.9%, in 1994–2002 it was 0.7%, and in 2000–02 they were negative.

Approximately 85% of the economically active population is employed in agriculture and related industries (65% are subsistence farming), 10% are in industry, and the rest are mainly in the public sector. OK. 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.

The leading role in the economy is played by the mining industry – the extraction of copper, gold and silver, oil, and in the near future, natural gas. It is controlled by foreign companies. Resource development is constrained by a lack of infrastructure, rugged landscapes, and an unstable internal environment, largely contributed by local tribes not controlled by the central government, who put forward various demands on mining enterprises under the threat of disrupting their work.

Only 5% of the territory is suitable for processing. Main crops: copra, palm oil, coffee, cocoa beans, tea, natural rubber, vegetables and fruits, sweet potatoes. In animal husbandry, poultry and pig breeding have received the greatest development. Fishing plays an important role.

In industry, there are many small enterprises for processing agricultural products, food and clothing industries, woodworking, furniture and construction enterprises. A relatively large (1.5-2 million tons per year) oil refinery is being built in Port Moresby.

Of the 19.6 thousand km of roads, approx. 700 km are paved. The length of inland waterways is approx. 11 thousand km. Main ports and harbours: Port Moresby, Kieta, Lae, Madang, Rabaul. It has its own small marine fleet, 491 airports, and 2 airports for helicopters. The international airport is in Port Moresby. Internet users – 135 thousand (2001).

The development of tourism in Papua New Guinea is at an early stage due to the instability of the internal political situation and the high level of crime. There are only 20-50 thousand foreign tourists per year. In a favorable situation, this number could easily be increased to 1 million people, given the huge potential of ecotourism.

The main part (70%) of exports falls on mining products (oil, gold, copper ore), timber, palm oil, coffee and cocoa beans, and fish are also exported. Machinery and equipment, finished products, fuel and chemical products, foodstuffs are imported. The main foreign economic partners are Australia, Japan, the countries of Southeast Asia, and New Zealand.

The country cannot do without significant financial assistance from Australia (after gaining independence, up to 1/2 of the budget of the Papua New Guinea was formed at the expense of its assistance, but since 2000, not budget expenditures have been financed, but specific projects in the amount of up to 200 million US dollars) and a number of international organizations.

Prime Minister M. Morauta (since 1999) who was Prime Minister before M. Somare tried to restore the interaction (disturbed by the events in Bougainville and the struggle of political forces in the center) of state institutions, stabilize the exchange rate of the kina, restore a stable state budget, carry out privatization and support the peace process in Bougainville supported by the IMF and the World Bank. Somara faces the difficult task of continuing Moraut’s course of economic and political stabilization in the country.

Papua New Guinea Politics