A Case for the Westminster System

Is PNG’s Westminster system worth keeping?

Sean Jacobs, East Asia Forum, 5 October 2013

The Papua New Guinea Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC) is currently scrutinising the viability of PNG’s Westminster system of government. PNG has persisted with a Westminster system since before its independence in 1975. But no one party has ever won enough seats to rule outright in the single-chamber parliament, resulting in a high degree of political instability, seemingly endless cabinet reshuffles and a series of votes of no confidence. Although Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s 101-seat alliance suggests a recent degree of political stability, it was not until 2007 — three decades after independence — that a PNG government completed a full five-year term in office.

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