Commonwealth Observer Group now in PNG

A 12-member Observer Group from the Commonwealth are in the country to observe the 2017 elections.

The Group was invited by the Government earlier this year to witness the pre-election environment, polling day, the counting and post-election period.

The members were appointed by the Secretary General from across the Commonwealth. They include experts from political, election, development, media, youth and gender fields.

Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Sir Anand Satyanand, in a press conference today in Port Moresby said their Terms of Reference are to observe the electoral process and consider the factors that could impinge on the credibility of the electoral process as a whole.

“Our presence here reaffirms the Commonwealth’s strong and long-standing support for Papua New Guinea’s democratic processes,” he said.

“We will consider whether the elections have been conducted according to the standards for democratic elections to which Papua New Guinea has committed itself, with reference to national election-related legislation as well as relevant Commonwealth, regional and other international norms and commitments.

“We are committed to being objective, independent and partial.

“The assessment of the Group will be its own, and not that of any member government or organisation.”

Sir Anand said they will also make recommendations to assist the conduct of future elections.

Meanwhile, the campaign period will end in two days’ time and polling will begin on June 24, and ends on July 8.

Freddy Mou