Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato

EC estimates 6 million voters on roll

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said PNGEC is projecting 5.6 million eligible voters to be registered, but estimates only 4.5 million voters would actually cast their votes.

He made comparison to the 2012 electoral roll, where a total of 4.8 million people were registered as eligible voters but only 3.7 million voted.

Meanwhile, Gamato touched on the issue of shortage of Claim for Enrolment Forms (Form 11) throughout the country.

“PNGEC had issued a total of 750,000 enrolment forms at the commencement of voter registration.”

Ballot papers kept in ‘undisclosed location’

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed with Loop PNG that “ballot papers arrived on Tuesday and had been cleared (on Wednesday)”.

Gamato said on Thursday, containers containing the papers were taken to a highly secured location in Port Moresby where they are now heavily guarded by police and military personnel.

He said in the next one-and-a-half months, the ballot papers will be repacked according to enrolment figures and dispatched to each province, two weeks prior to commencement of polling on June 24.

Electoral Commission confident of democratic elections

“During my term as the Electoral Commissioner, the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission has instituted internal reforms, developed strategies, conducted detailed planning and implemented key activities – all in preparation for the 2017 National Elections,” Gamato said. 

“PNGEC has increased its organisational capabilities by applying lessons learnt from the 2012 National Election, 2013 Local Level Government (LLG) elections and the 2015-2016 provincial and open by-elections.

Ballot papers to arrive this week: Gamato

The ballot papers are printed in Indonesia.

Gamato, in a brief to Governor-General Bob Dadae, said printing of writs for all the electorates is now underway and will be ready before April 20th, 2017, when the GG officially issues the writs.

He said the Governor General will sign 666 writs, and about 2,000 candidates have expressed interest to contest the national elections.

Song and video to educate voters

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said the music clip will complement the 14 new graphic products which include posters, flyers and booklets that will be distributed to all 22 provinces in the few days.

The theme for awareness campaign officially launch on Wednesday in Port Moresby was ‘Your Choice, Protect Our Democracy’.

“The new strategy uses the faces of our citizens to promote voter participation, which include women and girls and other marginalised groups, emphasise anti-corruption and good governance efforts,” Gamato said.

Polye welcomes decision to keep original election dates

“Our people would eager to see him continue to discharge his duties independently without fear or favour like this until the Return of Writs on July 24.

“Our alternate government will continue working side by side with the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders to see a fair, free and democratic election delivered this year,” Polye said.

Polye has assured the people that their alternate government would continue to scrutinize the electoral processes to avoid electoral fraud.

Gamato released misleading statement: Ngangan

The Finance Secretary said the media statement released by Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato was misleading.

“The statement is made with complete ignorance of the government’s budget management processes which are embedded in law,” Dr Ngangan said.  

“It is not in law to randomly transfer funds from one appropriation to another and there is an established process to do that. Both TFF and Electoral Commissions are high priority funding for the government this year.

Election in limbo says Polye

The Kandep MP and parliamentary leader of Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party made this comment in a media conference in Port Moresby today.

Polye said with limited funding the PNG Electoral Commission (PNGEC) will not be able to run a free and fair election.  

He said the funding constrain have affected the updating of Common Roll and also preparation for the elections which is fve months away.

Distribution of Ballot papers will not change: Gamato

Gamato said that all the 10 million ballot papers for the provincial and open seats will be unpacked in Port Moresby, and later repacked according to enrolment figures for each electorate before been dispatched.

He said that is the same distribution process used in the last 8 elections.

“The ballot papers will be handled under tight security because they are very sensitive election materials,” Gamato said.

“All the ballot papers will be delivered to all the 22 provinces two weeks in advance before the commencement of polling on June 24. 

Electoral Commissioner concerned over diversion of K20 million

A total of K40 million in election funds was released by the Finance Department last week to PNGEC’s account but only K20 million was uploaded while the other K20 million was removed.

He said the K20 million removed was money earmarked for the purchase of big ticket items such as ballot boxes, security plastic seals, indelible ink, voting compartments, stationary and t-shirt’s for polling and counting officials.