|People in the Care Center listening to officers during awareness|
By Solomon Puana
The Registry of Political Parties conducted its first district awareness on Political Parties in Sumkar and Bogia Districts, Madang Province from the 3rd – 10th October, 2018. There were four teams comprised of the Staff from the Registry which teams 1 and 2 were assigned to conduct the awareness in Sumkar district while teams 3 and 4 in Bogia district.
The district awareness was basically for the Registry to go out to the villages and communities and talk to the people about political parties. The main focus of the Registry is to promote political parties and that is through conducting awareness at the district levels. The trend of voting for a candidate than a political party needs a change and that can only happen if political parties are made known to the people. Far too long, political parties have been unknown to the people and this has contributed to the political culture of people voting for individual candidates than for political parties. This trend needs a total transformation.
As a Constitutional Office responsible for managing political parties’ affairs in the country, the Registry took the initiative to conduct a nationwide awareness on political parties at the district levels after it saw the need for the people to know more about political parties and their importance. The initiative came about through a survey on the perception of the people on political parties that was carried out in 2016 and the 2017 national election observation where many of the people had no knowledge about political parties in terms of the names of the parties, the leaders of the parties, the ideologies of the parties, the main policies, their roles and functions, and why they are important in any democracy.
During the district awareness, the people’s feedbacks, views and comments indicated that many of our people still lack information about political parties. This has challenged the Registry to step up in its plans and strategies on how to deal with the issue. Besides this, the teams enlisted a total of 453 people becoming members of different political party of their choice by filling in the membership forms. Despite the encounters from the people, the Registry will maintain and continue on with its nationwide awareness program to keep informing the people about political parties until the next national election in 2022.