USAID supports the strengthening of democratic institutions in Papua New Guinea, where democracy, while it has taken root, is still fragile; we are also working to help restore democracy in Fiji. Papua New Guinea is at a democratic crossroads. The generation that led the country to independence is disappearing from the national political scene and a younger generation of leaders is poised to take power, following the recent 2012 national elections. Societal expectations for increased infrastructure development and improved government services are at an all-time high. However, democratic institutions, particularly the Parliament and the political parties, are weak and mistrusted institutions.
In Papua New Guinea, USAID developed a project to strengthen democracy by developing the capacity of political parties to formulate issue-based platforms, reach out to and develop their constituencies and improve transparency. In contrast with previous elections where campaigns were held primarily on the basis of personalities and patronage, political analysts observed an increase in party messaging revolving around issues and programs in the lead up to the June 2012 elections.
The recently initiated process to develop a new constitution marks a pivotal point in Fiji’s return to democracy and the achievement of political stability. The U.S. Government has a unique window of opportunity to assist Fiji institutionalize democratic processes by providing support to constitutional development.
Last updated: May 10, 2013