Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato

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.

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.