2017 National Elections

​Joint forces will not redirect resources: Baki

Commissioner for Police, Gari Baki, said despite the fact that the objectivity of the call-out has not been fully achieved, that does not mean the joint forces are not aware of people who are still holding onto illegal weapons.

“Hela will be the first place of polling, there will be a lot of focus on the province during the last leg of the election process.”

Councilor with firearm arrested at rally

Councilor Gavena John Leta, age 36, from Bokuku village, was alleged to have committed the offence during Sir Puka Temu’s rally on June 12.

Central police commander Laimo Asi says police report that whilst in Upulima, Leta removed the firearm (pistol) and tried to discharge it whilst the current member for Abau was talking during his rally.

He was formally arrested and charged for 3 counts relating to firearm and locked at Boroko cells late Tuesday afternoon (at around 5pm).

Settlements’ sanitation top priority for Ame

Ame, who is vying for the seat against sitting MP and Health Minister Michael Malabag, outlined his top five policies today and said sanitation is one of the biggest challenges Port Moresby is facing right now.

Upholding the constitution, land rights for Motu-Koitabu people, land title for settlers and respect for human dignity, irrespective of background and status in society, are his other policies.

“Successive governments have not done that, I want recognition to be given,” he said.

​Where is the Jiwaka provincial treasurer?

According to the Election Manager, the training for polling officials and the presiding officers was scheduled to be conducted a week ago.

Jiwaka Election Manager Rossie Pandihau is pleading for the Provincial Treasurer to return to Jiwaka as soon as possible to release the funds allocated for the training. 

She says the training is vital for the 900-plus polling officials, including the 300-plus presiding officers and assistant presiding officers, so they understand the process well before being deployed to polling sites.

Sandaun anticipates peaceful polling

“We will not experience a problem,” Provincial Police Commander Robert Gesa said.

The police boss said people in the province are peaceful and they have proven that during the nomination and campaign periods of the 2017 National Election.

PPC Gesa appealed to those in the international border province to continue their daily activities and conduct business as usual.

Meanwhile, the PPC has sent a request to the Police Commissioner to approve the engagement of 60 auxiliary police personnel to support police election operations in the province.

Funding, security and manpower

Chief Secretary and chairman for IDEC, Isaac Lupari, said funding should not be an issue for operations in the elections.

He spoke of the government’s commitment towards the 2017 general elections, saying the government is a major supporter for the smooth running of the elections in the country.

He urged the electoral officials to change the public perception of Hela Province being one of the major hotspots for security risks.

Lupari said the presence of the three disciplinary forces is not to intimidate the people but to help where necessary.

Full election committee in Tari

The team includes Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari, Electoral Commissioner Patilas Gamato and the Commander for PNGDF, Gilbert Toropo. They were greeted by the Police Commissioner Gari Baki.

The first meeting for the committee will take place today between IDEC team and the election officials of Hela Province and provincial police contingent.

The main objective of the arranged meeting is to move within the provinces and have a one-on-one with officials about their responsibilities.

​Province confident of smooth polling

Hela Provincial Administrator, William Bando, said since the deployment of the security forces in Hela, the election process has been progressive with less violence.

Bando said despite public perception, Hela is still a young and developing province with a lot of potential.

However, he said security is still a concern, considering the recent Hela call-out.

Bando will be having a word with the heads of the security forces to discuss the possibilities of looking into suspected areas where raids can be conducted to secure illegal weapons in the province.

Manus police rule out ballot box allegations

With just five days away to the commencement of polling on June 24, Manus Provincial Police Commander, Chief Inspector David Yapu, is warning people from making false allegations or speculations.

“Such allegation is false and not true and will create doubts in the mindset of the voters,” PPC Yapu made these comments when ruling out rumours that seven ballot boxes were brought to the province and hidden away, awaiting polling.

Kua dismisses Bakani’s statement

PNG National Party Leader and Member for Sinasina-Yongomugl, Kerenga Kua, dismissed the views expressed last month by the Bank of PNG Governor, Loi Bakani, that political candidates should refrain from commenting on the economy.

“Freedom of expression is a Constitutional right and the performance of the economy remains of paramount concern to the people of Papua New Guinea and for my Party,” Kua said.  

“This, together with the performance of the Government and indeed of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, occupies a central position in the election debates.