Election in limbo says Polye

Insufficient money to run the 2017 National Election will open the gate for election rigging, says Opposition Leader Don 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.

“Recently I have heard from reliable sources, of K40 million allocated for the National Elections preparatory work, K20 million take by Government to pay for Tuition Fee Free,” Polye said.  

 “When preparation is not in order and Government does not adequately fund the election (preparations) that is the first step in rigging elections, deliberately.      

“And I call on the prime minister to give priority to running the elections.”

Meanwhile, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has expressed grave concern that a total of K20 million of election funds have been removed from PNGEC’s account and diverted to fund the government’s free education policy.

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.

“If the Government is serious about appropriately funding PNGEC to deliver a good election that is free, fair, safe and inclusive then it must release and upload election funds in a timely manner,” Gamato said.

(Picture by Kennedy Bani)


Charles Yapumi