Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato

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.

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.

Enga polling deferred

Polling was scheduled to take place today however, due to issues with the electoral roll, it has been postponed.

Provincial election manager, Anton Iamau, said sorting and pre-counting of ballot papers took place in Wabag Town due to electoral roll issues.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed that Western Highlands Province (WHP) also has the same issue with the electoral roll and will commence polling on Thursday.

Polling officials spent the day also sorting and pre-counting.

​ESP counting scheduled for Saturday

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato announced this during an update on polling in the province.

He said there were a few hiccups such as the fight at South Wosera between drunkards and supporters of a candidate, which resulted in the damaging of a ballot box and the theft of a ballot box in Angoram, which was later returned.

As of yesterday, polling has been completed in some areas of the province while other are yet to be completed.

They include:

Wewak Open – 20 teams out of 29 have completed polling

​Gamato: I will not resign

Gamato said this when grilled during yesterday’s media conference in Port Moresby.

Since polling began on Saturday in the country, many negative reports have been made public. Among them was the late start of polling teams, resulting in less number of votes cast and people and students turned away due to missing names, despite registering earlier this year.

The deferral of polling in NCD from Tuesday to Friday, the detainment of the NCD Election Manager and several polling officials over suspected foul play has put more pressure on the Commissioner.