The 2007 national election in Papua New Guinea was expected to produce some pronounced changes in terms of its administration and conduct, and in the final outcome, particularly as a result of the introduction of a limited preferential voting (LPV) system. Certainly, a lot more work and higher costs were involved in administering the election, partly due to the lengthy counting process associated with LPV. In terms of its outcomes, the winners obtained a larger mandate from the voters than in previous elections. While some observers commented that electoral violence was quelled as a result of LPV, others posited that a heavy deployment of security forces was primarily responsible for the more peaceful election.
From a gender perspective, it was anticipated that women candidates would have far greater chance of success at the polls given the element of preference trading implicit in LPV and the widely accepted view that LPV could be anybody’s game. This, however, did not eventuate. It is important to understand why the 2007 election outcome, like all other elections in the past, did not prove to be advantageous for women. The main objective of this study is therefore to examine women as candidates and voters, with specific reference to gender issues in the Kerema Open electorate.
This is a chapter in the book edited by R.J. May, Ray Anere, Nicole Haley and Katherine Wheen (2013), ‘Election 2007: The Shift to Limited Preferential Voting in Papua New Guinea’, ANU Press.