IB 2022/06 Papua New Guinea’s 2022 General Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Papua New Guinea’s 2022 General Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The upcoming Papua New Guinea (PNG) national general elections, scheduled to run from April through July 2022, are worrying, due to concerns not only about the health of Papua New Guineans but also the health of PNG’s democracy. In PNG, elections — held every five years — are one of the only occasions when citizens actively engage with the state on a nationwide scale. It is a period of high activity and mobility. In the midst of the pandemic, there are certain electiontime behaviours that make them likely superspreader events. Drawing from the experiences of two recent byelections in Goroka and Port Moresby North West, this In Brief examines some of the risks and implications associated with conducting elections during the time of COVID-19 as well as some of the negative aspects of PNG elections that might reoccur in 2022.