Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato

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.

Gamato appeals for calm in Hagen

He said the proper recourse for complaints about the election is in the Court of Disputed Returns and not on the streets.

“The Commission regrets the disturbances and disruptions to the peace seen during the elections. Any violence related to the polls is unnecessary and harms our democracy and our community,” Commissioner Gamato said.

For the current incident in Hagen, he said election process has been completed and aggrieved parties should take it to court.

The Hagen treasury office was burnt down this week while the Kagamuga airport remains closed.

Gamato urged to take charge of NCD counting

Supporters of incumbent NCD Governor, Powes Parkop, issued the call given the delay in making a declaration.

Speaking on behalf of Parkop, executive officer, Emmanuel Bobola, claims counting has been taken over by rogue scrutineers who are disrupting the process.

He said Gamato must now take control so that a declaration is made before the deadline for the return of writs on Friday (July 28).

Bobola said if a favourable response is not made, they will hold a peaceful sit-in protest at the Rita Flynn Indoor Sports Complex until a declaration is made.

Observers’ accreditation extended

Commissioner Patilias Gamato has issued circular instructions this week to all provincial election managers to communicate with their officials in the province on the extension of accreditation badges to August 31.

He said in a statement that the extension is to facilitate the continuing work of election observers nationwide.

“I have advised my provincial election managers that if they have any questions or concerns in relation to the work of the Election Observers then they should bring them to my attention immediately.

Candidate: It is a conspiracy!

A frustrated Michael Bandui made this allegation following Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato’s decision to disqualify only one of the five boxes which were tampered with by supporters of a candidate. The incident was captured in a video and posted on Facebook.             

Bandui said the evidence is very clear and all the six ballot boxes should be put aside.

The video footage showed supporters of a particular candidate in the North Waghi electorate, filling in their preferences on the ballot papers.

Court issues orders against Blogger

The Waigani National Court this afternoon granted the orders sought to Commissioner Gamato after his lawyer moved an application before Justice Collin Makail.

The urgent application was moved without Namarong in court because they could not locate him to serve the documents. The application was heard ex-parte.

This case arises from alleged defamatory remarks the blogger made on social media, associating Commissioner Gamato to a fruit.

Justice Makail granted the application, allowing for the serve of the orders to be published in both daily newspapers.

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.

Gamato opens NCD counting

Speaking at the opening, Gamato called on counting officials to do their job diligently and honestly.

He further welcomed candidates, scrutineers, counting officials and media personnel to the Rita Flynn Indoor Complex.

Counting for the NCD was deferred from yesterday to today.

Meanwhile, counting for Moresby North-West has been set for tomorrow while Moresby South and Moresby North-East started today.