2017 National Elections

​Elder interrupts Pala’s rally with accusations

Rigo MP and Justice and Attorney-General Minister, Ano Pala, has been asked not to tell lies in regards to delivery of services to the people.

Tauruba village elder Gai Araga took to the stage and told Pala that there was nothing much to show for in the last 10 years he has been in office.

"You (Pala) have been in Government and enjoyed receiving K10 million each year for the past 5 years. There is really nothing tangible to show for the K50 million that was received," Araga said.

​Locals in Buka more aware: Police

That is the main reason why elections in Bougainville have been quiet since nominations period.

Assistant Commissioner for Police (ACP) and Chief of Bougainville Police, Francis Tokura, said election preparations have been quiet, unlike previous years of election.

Tokura said from information he has gathered, one of the significant changes that Bougainville has seen is candidates going into wards and communities by themselves to do their own campaigning.

“In the past, we would see truckloads and groups of supporters driving around with candidates.”

Printing of candidate posters underway

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato told Loop PNG that the candidate posters for Momase, New Guinea Islands and Southern Regions are in print and Highlands Region will be printed soon after corrections are made. He said the delay is because of candidates’ photos.

The PNGEC candidate posters will be placed at the voting area for voters to identity their candidates and mark their preferences.   

Gamato said ballot papers are enough for the 111 Open and Provincial Seats, and the work of voter enrolment is complete.

​Security response units deployed to highlands

The units will commence on Saturday, 3rd of June, 2017.

This will allow for them to be prepositioned in the areas before they take delivery of the ballot boxes and papers coming into the polling areas at the end of June.

The response units have mostly been deployed into high risk areas.

Intelligence operatives have been doing assessments for the last six to seven months.

According to Commissioner for Police, Gari Baki, most areas in the highlands region are considered high risk.

Pruaitch confident to return

Eighteen candidates will be challenging the former Treasury Minister in West Sepik Province.

Pruaitch, when speaking to Loop PNG said, NA will return to form the new Government after the elections.

“We will win more seats and the Governor-General will invite us to form the government,” Pruaitch said.

NA Party has endorsed 74 candidates nationwide to contest for the 111 seats in the National Parliament.

(File picture)

Pruaitch blames Polye for Somare’s fall

“I was the only one in the Government to vote against putting Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister,” Pruaitch told Loop PNG.

He said the Supreme Court had upheld the decision that the removal of former NA party leader as prime minister when he was overseas for medical treatment was illegal.         

Pruaitch told Loop PNG that Opposition Leader Don Poyle was the power broker back then.

 “He left the (NA) party, and got the majority of National Alliance MPs from the Highlands and New Guinea Islands Region to form the current government, “Pruaitch said.

​Polye questions Gamato’s decision

"The justification by Patilias Gamato is low and shallow,” says Opposition Leader Don Polye. 

“It is to do with their future in the next five years. He has lost his bearing to conduct a free, fair, democratic and safe election.

"I ask him to come to sense and do the right thing.”

Polye said some returning officers have clear evidences available to warrant for a change.

"Twenty-seven days is enough to make those genuine and necessary changes to ensure a trouble-free election.

​Polling booth locations causing dissent

Election manager, Rossie Pandihau, said the issue arose from a certain electorate about centralising polling booths.

“This caused some candidates and supporters to disagree, resulting in an uproar.”

Pandihau said one of the returning officers was assaulted and more problems are expected to arise come the polling period in the province if the issue is not attended to quickly.

She adds that the electoral commission team has been corresponding with the team in Port Moresby to look at alternative ways to resolve the problem.

Uneducated person must not be voted: Candidate

Robert Pati, who is contesting for the Enga Regional seat, said a voter’s vote must not be influenced by candidates. 

“People should vote for candidates who are committed Christians, should have a proven record of honesty and transparency and have engaged in some form of service delivery to enhance people’s livelihood prior to elections,” Pati said.

He believes candidates should have proper education because the world is always changing and Parliament is not a place for an uneducated person.

​Peaceful Eastern Highlands election atmosphere: Police

Eastern Highlands election manager, Steven Kaupa, confirms that the province has nine electorates where over 300 candidates are contesting either for the regional or the eight electorate seats.

Kaupa said the campaign period, for some reason, has been too quiet.

He commended the security and provincial policing partners for making sure the campaign period was very peaceful.