TIPNG believes there is a lack of coordination and transparency by the PNGEC.
It also states that collaboration with partner agencies to carry out the by-election will ensure that administrative issues do not deprive voters in the electorate from exercising their constitutional rights.
“The PNG Electoral Commission is the mandated body to conduct elections in Papua New Guinea. The right of voters to have free, fair and safe elections must not be diminished either through individual malice or organisational ineptitude, the electoral roll being up to date and current is essential to citizens exercising this right. TIPNG is very concerned there is a significant risk to the successful conduct of the by-election in the Moresby Northwest electorate, because of a lack of coordination and transparency by the PNGEC. This risk of failure could be resolved if the PNGEC prioritizes logistical planning for polling on Wednesday by improving coordination with the Provincial Election Steering Committee and the police force in the National Capital District,” said the Board Chair of TIPNG Peter Aitsi.
Aitsi added, “Of further concern is that the PNG Electoral Commission has chosen to conduct primary counting of ballots at the 5 wards before transferring to a central venue for the eliminations if required. This approach may present significant logistical challenges within one day of polling and may increase the likelihood of disputes if ballots are seen not to be properly handled and protected,” said Mr. Aitsi.
The PNGEC has identified the following 5 locations to conduct counting for the First Preference votes.
Ward 1: Metoreia United Church Hall, Hanuabada
Ward 7: Ben Moide Club, Murray Barracks
Ward 8: Sir John Guise Stadium
Ward 11: Sir John Guise Stadium
Ward 10: PILAG
Elimination counts (second and third preferences) will be counted at the Sir John Guise Stadium.
TIPNG is a member of the NCD PESC which was formalised through an MoU signed by the PNGEC and the National Capital District Commission, earlier this year.