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Election 2017: Tribalism, 'Nere Tere' & voter exploitation of LPV


THE EMERGING hype and calculated manoeuvrings in the run-up to the coming national elections of May-June 2017 have brought to light how limited preferential voting (LPV) can be exploited.

LPV was introduced to empower voters to choose candidates without being forced to select just one who would be the favoured candidate of tribe or clan and who must be voted for as an act of loyalty.

But unintentionally, LPV has empowered shrewd voters to find a way to aggrandise themselves during those months leading to the elections.

The 'Nere Tere' (South Simbu slang for vote selling) system, referred to in a recent article by Mathias Kin, puts venal voters in a good place. They are effectively able to sell their LPV votes. Not once or twice but thrice.

A smart voter can easily make good money given the gullibility of candidates to do anything they can to secure the chance to step into the parliamentary chamber, that which now houses the 'Big Book'.

There are some voters who can only sell their second and third preference votes. They do not have the liberty to sell first preferences as tribal responsibility binds that one to their tribe's chosen contestant.

But smarter voters, equipped with slippery tongues and efficient lies, can sell their LPV votes to more than a dozen candidates; praying on the credulity of power-hungry and less vigilant wannabees desperate to buy their way into the Haus Tambaran.

How much a voter earns, monetarily or in kind, is a function of geography. Voters in the upper highlands of Papua New Guinea, with their proverbial sharp teeth, are set to bite away at anything coming their way.

Brace yourselves, intending 2017 candidates. The LPV has empowered voters to become selfishly corrupt. It will be an intending candidate's nightmare but a voter's golden harvest time.

Selling those preference votes multiple times to multiple candidates can yield a rich crop.


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Jimmy Awagl

Its already at its peak stage in the highlands region now, while have few months before the writs open for 2017 general elections. All the voters took advantage of the LPV and are now filthy rich in their pockets with hefty money from the intending candidates. Its always a sad story for both the candidate and the voters for pity tangible development in the country

Bomai Witne

A tribesman visited me this week and told me he left his family and stayed with a candidate for a week. He called the names of candidates he will visit every week. He has like- minded tribesmen and a few women accompanying him.

Arthur Williams

Came home from church one Sunday mid-day during election campaign time.

I didn't used to open my small bush store on Sundays in those years.

But waiting for me was one of my wife's 'uncle'. "How's aunty? Can you help me I really need a few things for a couple of days on the trail with my bigman." He mentioned one of the likely winners of the forthcoming election.

So I opened for him and a few other wantoks who were part of the team helping the elite from Moresby to try and win. Nice sale and my 'tambu' got some cigarettes for himself out of the dealings.

Peace returned for a normal quiet Taskul Sunday afternoon.

The following Sunday once again I came back from church to find my tambu begging to be allowed to make some purchase for the team escorting a wannabee elite.

The only difference was when I shook hands with him it was a different bigman from the previous Sunday.

Quietly I asked my Tambu what had happened to last week's favourite son he had been helping win the election?

Whispering back and with a wink he said, "Time for us grassroots to make some money from these spivs!"

Slim Dusty had a song about the '5-year' parade of aspiring MPs visiting the isolated communities too.

Damned if can recall title of it.

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