Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato

Simbu recount set for today

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed that containers containing ballot boxes for the Simbu Provincial seat arrived in Goroka yesterday morning.

“The containers were successfully retrieved from Kundiawa after some minor resistance and were transported safely to Goroka in Eastern Highlands with the support of police mobile units from Mt. Hagen,” Gamato said.

Funds used, recount yet to start

The recount has been put off, while the Electoral Commission and Police are in discussion over the recount location, taking security into account.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, told this newsroom from Lae, the National Court’s order was to have the recount conducted outside Simbu.

He said he will be in breach of a court order if the recount takes place in Simbu, adding Police will have to understand and comply with the court order.

Gamato responds to Simbu protesters

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato is standing by his decision as he says Lae is a neutral ground for the recount to take place.

The Commissioner said the recount venue was challenged by Simbu Governor, Michael Dua, in court.

“The court dismissed his application, so counting will still proceed in Lae as neutral ground,” Gamato said in response to this newsroom.

Directives issued to Electoral Commission

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato delivered this to provincial election bosses at the Electoral Commission’s 3rd National Workshop in Port Moresby.

It has been established that the elections for the Local Level Governments will take place next April.

Among the directives, is that the 2018 LLG election budget of K100 million be revoked and a new budget be set.

The decision from the NEC to reinstate funding for LLG elections is so the budget for 2018 will be removed and according to the decision, K150 million be budgeted for the LLG elections.

Defer LLG polls, recommends Gamato

He made the recommendation in his advice to the Minister last Thursday, 26 April, in Port Moresby.

This follows the receipt of three written legal opinions on the subject from the Acting Secretary for Justice & Attorney General, Dr. Lawrence Kalinoe, State Solicitor Daniel Rolpagarea and the Secretary for Constitutional & Law Reform Commission, Dr. Eric Kwa.

2018 LLG elections program announced

The 2018 LLG Elections program is as follows:

 

Issue of Writs & Nominations Open:               Thursday, 26 July, 2018

Close of Nominations:                                         Wednesday, 1 August, 2018

Start of Polling:                                                     Monday, 20 August, 2018

End of Polling:                                                        Monday, 3 September, 2018

Electoral roll update to be decentralised

The decision to decentralise the electoral roll follows post-election evaluation undertaken by the Electoral Commission.

The post-election evaluation identified some of the challenges and issues the Commission went through in hosting the 2017 National General Elections.

Key recommendations from local and international observers were also considered, prompting the Commission to decentralise the updating of the electoral roll to the provincial level.

Gamato recognises Powi amidst concerns

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato received the writ on Thursday night at the PNG Electoral Commission headquarters in Port Moresby.

On Thursday, several candidates voiced their concerns and asked for counting to proceed into eliminations to complete the LPV system. They claimed none of the 25 candidates reached the absolute majority after the primary vote counts.

However, just hours after talking to the media, Gamato accepted the writ from the Provincial Returning Officer Steven Gore Kaupa, which automatically recognised incumbent Powi as the duly-elected governor.

SHP counting cannot be failed: Gamato

“Section 81(3) of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections gives the power to the Electoral Commissioner to make or allow extension.”

Gamato was responding to calls on him to declare the Southern Highlands Provincial Seat elections as “failed” and for supplementary elections to be held since counting hasn’t been completed after the first sitting of the new Parliament three weeks ago.

He explained that counting for the Southern Highlands Provincial Seat was recently ordered by Court to be conducted in Mt. Hagen.

Kuman recognised as duly-elected Member

He received a full report on what transpired during the election process for the Gumine Open electorate from the Election Manager for Simbu, Rev. Tom Sine.

He said the count was completed on Wednesday, 26 July, 2017. 

Assistant Returning Officer Margaret Tokmun was the supervisor during the count and she called for the results from exclusion number 47.

Gamato said Tokmun gave the result out and also advised who led after the final exclusion over the absolute majority.