EC deprived PNG’s democratic rights: Pruaitch

The PNG Electoral Commission has deprived the democratic rights of the people of Papua New Guinea, says a party leader.

National Alliance Party parliamentary leader, Patrick Pruaitch, said it was inexcusable that thousands of Papua New Guineans have been unable to exercise their democratic right because the Electoral Commission had failed in its primary task of updating the Electoral Roll.

“Many of us have theories about these turn of events with legitimate voters taken off the Roll and other electorates padded in inexplicable ways,” Pruaitch says.

He also said returning officers have the legal authority to declare winning candidates.

“In each electorate, the returning officers and other officials mandated by the Electoral Commission have to follow due process under close watch of election candidates and their scrutineers,” Pruaitch said.  

“It has always been their responsibility to declare the election outcome for each seat.”

Pruaitch said once a returning officer makes a declaration, that decision should stand unless the outcome becomes the subject of a court dispute.

Charles Yapumi