PRIME Minister Peter O'Neill says his government is not trying to deny the rights of Papua New Guineans to stand for public office.
Responding in parliament to a series of questions concerning the proposed changes to the law to increase election nomination fees, Mr O'Neill said candidates who want to contest must sacrifice something because of the ever increasing costs of running elections in the country.
"Now we are reaching close to K400 million to run the 2017 elections and the cost keeps on going up because the number of candidates is increasing,” he said.
"So if candidates want to run for public office, there must be certain sacrifices we all have to make. One of them is cost."
Mr O'Neill said the money will go back to the Electoral Commission help it conduct the election.
Opposition leader Don Polye says the opposition will take the government to court if parliament passes its proposal to increase the nomination fee from K1,000 to K10,000.
Polye questioned why the government is hell bent on proposing what he described as “an unconstitutional and draconian law” which will limit a vast majority of aspiring candidates.
He brushed aside Mr O’Neill’s justification that the increase is to offset a lack of funding for the Electoral Commission.