Allan Bird on his Campaign Expenditure in PNG Election 2012

With a record number 3435 candidates having nominated to contest the 2012 National Election for 111 seats, one wonders just how much money in terms of campaign expenditure has been spent by these candidates on their election campaigns.

Already, some losing candidates have gone public regarding the amount they acquitted on their election campaigns, the most recent being Paul Kurai who placed third in Wabag Open.

Kurai announced yesterday that he had spent K500,000 (AU$227,000) on his election campaign – an investment based on the request of his people to stand for election.

Allan Bird, who placed second after Sir Michael Somare in East Sepik Provincial, has also publicly commented on details surrounding his campaign budget, financial donations and expenditure.

In a comment on PNG Blogs, which has gone relatively unnoticed, Bird revealed the following:

“During the past 5 weeks I have noticed sitting MPs in particular and some candidates from the ruling parties hand out cash in villages.

In two instances, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the voters accepted the money and the alcohol but will vote for somebody else. I wait to see the voting results from those villages to confirm what they told me.

If they do what they say, I will be very pleased indeed to see the lack of influence money will have on the elections in East Sepik. The only thing that bothers me is this; if the people will accept money and vote for someone else, will the polling officials and the security forces also do the same?

I have spent about K230,000 on this election so far and am planning to spend another K20,000 on my scrutineers over the next 3 weeks (food & allowances). Funnily enough, if the campaign had gone on for more than 5 weeks, I do not think I would have afforded to do this.

My original budget was actually K200,000. I was able to save this money from my consulting work and commit it to the elections. My best friends contributed the balance.

I received no funding from my political party and did not expect any.

Some of my friends contesting in other seats have already spent millions of kina from what they have been telling me by phone. It has become a race because when the other candidate starts to spend money, you are expected to do the same.

I decided to buck the trend.

If I do get elected, it will not be because of how much money I have expended and it will be because money has not influenced our people in this part of the country. It will be because the people of East Sepik have decided that it is time to change.”

It is encouraging to see candidates like Allan Bird talk frankly about their campaign expenditure. This is an area of PNG politics which has for too long been shrouded in secrecy and is rarely opened up for the public to see.

Although there are rules prescribed by the Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates around campaign financing, political donations and accountability in terms of financial returns and reports, these areas are not policed well enough for candidates and political parties to respect their shepherding in the first instance.

Money and politics are not exclusive to PNG. Politics everywhere is dependent on money to some degree, but in PNG our challenge is to ensure that a playing level field is adhered to by all candidates, and that the usage of public money and government machinery is not hijacked by sitting MPs to the disadvantage of challengers.

Public transparency of funds committed to and expended in elections would be a positive start in helping the public better understand the dynamics of electoral campaigns – for the issue isn’t really to do with money being used, but how money is being used.

~ by Tavurvur on July 27, 2012.

10 Responses to “Allan Bird on his Campaign Expenditure in PNG Election 2012”

  1. Concerning the amount Allan have spent. I’d say that amount is an average amount. I believe people in the Highlands region have spent more. Unfortunately for Allan ,the political events that disposed GC Somare have caused the East Sepik People to vote out of Emotions. ” The Behat Vote” If it was not so, GC Somare would have retired and Allan will be now the new Governor of East Sepik Province. I am 100 percent certain that Allan will be the new Gorvenor of East Sepik come 2017. I have known Allan personally and it’s a shame that people of East Sepik have voted out of Emotion. Allan is a bright and very intelligent person . It was a privilege to have him as my class mate at Aiyura National High School and he topped it off as the Dux of the class of 1989. I guess the People of East Sepik have to wait for another five years to see real life enhancing change.

  2. splendidly quoted,A.B’s comment is ril ,I can’t comment 4 ada region in PNG,in da highlands region, esp,S.H.P where I come 4rm ,candidates av spent 3 to 4 times more den A. B as spent in his election trail.sum how da sitting MP’s and head of govnernment organistation who stand 4 election tend 2 spend more without blinking an eye lid,an unfortanatly 4 the common men who are standing its their hard earn life time savings they are pouring into this river of BRIBERY or VOTE BUYING. nothing tangible comes out of it when they lose.Its a tradition now,an I cannot see a way ot of this.unless the ril meaning of election is grasp by evri 1 involve.infact it is quiet complex .

  3. Thank you Alan for your transparency and honesty in reporting your election campaign figures. May you continue to hold fast to your principles in the days ahead and I will be hoping and praying that the next time around you will be voted in by the people of East Sepik.

    • ‘Gail Edoni’ – I couldn’t agree more with your comment. If Sir Michael Somare resigns halfway through this term, as many of us believe, then Allan Bird will be the next Govenor of East Sepik Province. Rgds, Tavurvur.

  4. Allan is the Best, Brilliant, Brave. He will be the ESP Governor and will inherit from GC Sir Michael. God Bless. Gen J Singirok(Rtd)

  5. I have known Allan Bird from Ok tedi while working there . He is the man for people & had a great desire for real development in the east sepik province . Next time round give him 100% support & vote him in he is another Sam Basil Type .
    Cheers
    Francis Kepa

  6. I hold Allan Bird in the same light as I do the likes of Robert Agarobe and Gary Juffa. Such people will bring about change that PNG so needs and deserves.
    The rest will continue to play marbles in there.

  7. I have known Allan Bird at Aiyura National High School days to be a brilliant and no none sense guy. Over the years he has grown into being an intelligent, respectable and hardworking Papua New Guinean with people at his heart, which is the reason he has spent his hard earned cash to spend to contest. I appreciate him being honest of his election expenditure. Truelly, you have to and must spend in this game of politics in PNG.
    I have been a keen follower of my old school mates and Allan Bird’s political carreer since he first entered politics in 1997 which he did well. I was having my hopes pinned on this year’s election, feeling that GC Somare will retire and Allan takes over the ESP Governorship.Like everyone else in favour of Allan Bird, I would say come 2017, your dreams and and aspirations will come true. In the meantime, continue to serve your people in any little way possible.

  8. Yes, i wish to join all who commented positively on Allan Bird.
    Allan you could have been elected the Gov of ESP had the Grand Chief
    left gracefully and with dignity without what was dished out to him on the floor of parliament. East Sepik people are a proud people and no. they will not accept what happened to the old man so they returned him using the BELHAT VOTE , JUST to prove a point to B namah, S basil , J Nape and the lot. The Grand Chief has nothing more to prove therefore he will bow out gracefully and with dignity with his head held high in the next six months. Allan, get read , you will be the next Governor of this proud people.

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