2017 National Election


Returning Officer Francis Yawalan says: “We will do quality checks today and if no candidates reach absolute majority, we will go into elimination to find the candidate with absolute majority.”

Yawalan told Loop PNG that as of 6pm on Friday, the final of the 16 boxes was opened and counted at Nuku Station counting centre.

The incumbent sitting Nuku MP and National Alliance candidate has a buffer of 3,418 votes over former MP and People’s National Congress Party candidate.

Election will not fail: Gamato

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato is confident to deliver a successful election.

He said the election has proceeded smoothly despite complaints by many eligible voters missing out on voting because of no names on the updated Electoral Roll.  

Gamato said the three men committee resignation is not formal yet.

“I can only say here that the appropriate appointment authority is the Head of State who is the Governor General of Papua New Guinea.

Election observer punched by security personnel

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said acts of assault by security personnel have been reported to the Police Commissioner.        

“So far, there were two incidences of intimidation and aggression by security personnel brought to my attention,” Gamato said in a media briefing this afternoon.  

“And this has prompted me to write to the Commissioner of Police, Gari Baki over the weekend to register my grave concerns.

COUNTING: Namatanai Open progressive results - after count 10

Schnaubelt collected 1,976 more votes after the counting of the ballot boxes from the Namatanai LLGs.

After count 7, Schnaubelt was leading with 4659 votes and has now extended his lead by 1,976 votes after count 8, 9 and 10.

Schnaubelt’s progressive total after count 10 is 6635 votes and in second place is incumbent Open Member for Namatanai James Byron Chan on 5189 votes.

Coming in at 3rd place is Leonard Tonggo from Pangu Party on 35 votes, 4th place is Independent candidate Kiapgugu Ignatius Matius on 23 votes followed by Pastor Chan Philip on 17 votes.

EC deprived PNG’s democratic rights: Pruaitch

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.

Marape retains seat in Tari Pori

Returning Officer Jack Walara told Loop PNG today that Marape was declared at 11:30am in Tari, Hela Province.

Walara confirmed that Marape reached the absolute majority of 50% + 1, collecting 30,192 votes.

Marape is contesting under the People’s National Congress (PNC) Party and was the first MP to be declared in this elections.

Meanwhile, counting for the other electorates in Hela is still ongoing.

(File picture)

Media must be given full access: Police

“I will also be asking the returning officers that the media be given full access to give out correct information to the public so that they are kept abreast of what is happening in the counting room.

“This is so that the public is rest assured that things are being done transparently,” Wagambie Jnr said.   

He also issued a warning to his personnel to maintain the integrity of the Royal PNG Constabulary.  

Polling to be extended in East Sepik

Provincial Election Manager Kila Ralai said polling throughout East Sepik has been completed, except for Tunap-Hunstein LLG in Ambunti-Dreikikir District.

Ambunti Dreikikir Returning Officer, Benjamin Gawi, confirmed with Loop PNG today that four remote, isolated villages are yet to be covered by his polling teams.

Gawi said a request for an extension of polling for the areas has already been sent to the PNG Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, a few days ago, who has indicated to approve extra days for voting.

Election manager: Scrutineers must not control counting

Jimmy made this call following the issue with scrutineers last night, which delayed counting for four hours.

Scrutineers raised issues regarding the presiding officer not present at the counting venue.

Jimmy told Loop PNG that there were also other minor unnecessary issues raised by scrutineers during the counting process that wasted counting time.

He explained that by law, scrutineers are not allowed to touch ballot papers. By law, scrutineers who try to disturb the counting process can be removed from the venue.

Highlands region counting begins

Counting for Tari-Pori Open electorate commenced today.

After count five, sitting MP, James Marape, is leading with 3,315 votes.

On second place is Jonny Pokaya Philip with 792 votes and Michael Joseph Pajawi on 451 votes.

Counting for Komo-Margarima and Koroba-Kopiago has been disrupted because of the issue of a petition.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says additional security personnel have been deployed to provide security at the disrupted venues.

In Eastern Highlands Province, counting will commence on Friday, July 7.