Patilias Gamato

Funding issues hinder electoral roll update: Gamato

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said this, in turn, resulted in a good number of voters being turned away at polling places, thus denying their democratic right to actively participate in the election process to elect their LLG assembly representatives.

“While we (PNGEC) accept blame as the election management body of PNG, I equally would hold the national government responsible for not providing the necessary funds to enable the Commission to update the roll in 2018,” Gamato said in a statement.

LLG Election given 7 days extension

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato announced this today following approval of the extension by the Minister for Inter-Government Relations Pila Ningi upon advice from the Electoral Commission.

“As of 10.00am this morning I have written to the Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Pila Niningi advising him to extend the date for the return of writs for the 2019 LLG elections to next week Friday, 2 August 2019.”

LLG elections progressive report

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says most polling should have been completed by July 23 or tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24. 

“There are minor or isolated incidents reported but generally polling and counting is progressing well.”

Gamato outlines the progressive report on polling and counting by provinces as follows:

MKA election funds released

The Government has released K1 million while NCDC has released K500,000.

Preparations for polling are now on target.

Commissioner Gamato said ballot papers have already been printed and delivered to the Commission for sorting and dispatching to the office of the Returning Officer Terence Hentinu.

He said the Motu-Koitabu roll has 16,741 registered voters.

The roll was also finalized this week and printing has commenced.

Voters will cast their votes next Wednesday, October 3.

EC to source NID data after it matures

Speaking at the Southern Region Consultation Workshop on the Civil & Identity Registration Act Review, Gamato said currently the office does not have all data the EC might need to prepare for the elections.

Gamato said this following discussions on the need for information sharing between organisations to ensure better coordination and planning, especially in elections to deter double and ghost voting.

Follow procedures, advises Gamato

He issued the comments after Madang MP Bryan Kramer filed a complaint with the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate to investigate the commissioner on electoral fraud allegations.

It is also in response to lawyer Stanley Liria’s comments in one of the dailies on problems faced during the 2017 National Elections.

Kramer refers Gamato to fraud directorate

This regards the Commission’s decision in the declaration of the Southern Highlands provincial seat.

Bryan Kramer met with the media yesterday, describing the EC’s decision as an act of electoral fraud.

“I submitted the basis of my determination that constitutes electoral fraud by the Commissioner, and filed a complaint with the National Fraud (Directorate). I intend to do the same with the Ombudsman Commission, and I am giving them up to a month to allow them to consider the evidence and whether they will take any formal action.”

Gamato defamation case dismissed

Justice Ere Kariko summarily dismissed the defamation proceeding today.

He raised concerns on the growing number of cases in court where lawyers do not comply with directions issued by the court.

In this case filed by Gamato in July last year, Judge Kariko said there are straight forward facts on defamatory claims against the blogger.

Gamato alleged the blogger published defamatory remarks, associating his surname with a fruit.

Verdict next week

A man has stood trial at the Waigani National Court over allegations he impersonated his uncle between June 2015 and January 2017, to access Service providers’ payments from the 2012 National Elections.

Joseph Ande made false representations as Thomas Martin, at the Westpac Bank, to access monies for services rendered to the Electoral Commission.

He allegedly opened two accounts at the bank, using a fake driver’s license, to access two BPNG Cheques drawn from the PNG Electoral Commission totaling K61, 000.

Gamato responds to Opposition’s statements

He made the remark following recent statements by Member for Sinesine-Yongomugl, Kerengu Kua, Opposition Leader and Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch and Northern Governor Gary Juffa in the daily papers on election issues.

“Firstly, let me advise the respective leaders that some of these matters are in court as election petitions, therefore, we must all respect the judicial process and refrain from making public statements until the Courts have dealt with the election petitions,” said Gamato in an 11-page statement.