2017 PNG National Elections

Polling in Highlands going well despite delay

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed in a media conference today that polling for Eastern Highlands Province commenced yesterday as scheduled.

However polling in Hela and Chimbu Province and some electorates in EHP were delayed.

Gamato says that the one-day polling in Simbu had to be deferred to sort out candidate grievances over the Electoral Roll.

Instead of polling in Hela on Monday, the day was spent addressing the issue of selected presiding officers disputed by a few candidates.

NCD candidates want Gamato to step down

The call is part of a nine-point petition presented to Gamato at 4 pm today just as a scheduled daily media conference was winding up.

Pangu NCD Candidate Noel Anjo, read the petition, on behalf of nine others to Gamato in front of the media before presenting it to him.

The petition states that:

Foreigner suggested to run elections

One of such is the need to bring in a neutral person, like a foreigner or most possibly, the United Nations, to run the elections.

This suggestion was made by the sitting Governor Powes Parkop, who described rumours of unethical conduct by certified officials as disgusting.

“Nationals don’t seem to have the ability to deliver smooth, fair and peaceful elections. It’s about time we swallow our pride and allow the EC to be led by a neutral person – a foreigner,” he said.

Governor Parkop pointed to election practice in other countries such as Solomon Islands and Fiji.

Landslide delays Goilala Open polling

Electoral Commissioner, Patalias Gamato, said the landslide delayed the timely dispatching of election materials, polling officials and security personal.

He said this has been resolved and polling will begin on Wednesday (28th June).

Meantime Gamato adds that no major hiccups has been reported thus far for polling in the Central Province.

He says that there was a slight disruption in Abau due to the alleged use of an unauthorized roll but that has been rectified.

Meanwhile polling for Kairuku-Hiri and Rigo is also progressing  smoothly.

ESP polling progressing despite common roll issue

"All open seats are in progress of polling’, Provincial Election Manager Kila Ralai said.

"Maprik and Yangoru Saussia (districts) are in the third day of polling, while other electorates are in the second day of polling.

"Out of yesterday’s report, everything is progressing well despite the issue of the roll, which is a nationwide issue.

"People are complaining that despite voting in 2012, their names are not on the 2017 roll."

Ralai said only Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato can give direction on which roll to use.

Maopa polling into day two

Maopa, which is the biggest village in the Aroma Rural Local Level Government area has 3076 eligible voters according to Leva Kala from the Electoral Commission polling team based at Maopa.

Meantime, polling at Paramana village resumed today after being suspended at 11am yesterday.

Polling at Pelagai and Gaivakala village is also progressing along and is expected to conclude by this Friday along with Maopa.

Polling in the Abau district will run for 14 days with an estimated 25, 000 plus eligible voters.

Polling progressing in Milne Bay

Provincial Returning Officer Dadu Daga confirmed this.

He said polling began as scheduled for Alotau Open on Saturday. Others followed suit on Monday.

“We have a tight schedule so we have to continue. I’m aware that police are on their way, some should arrive today and some tomorrow,” he said.

In the meantime, only three more LLG’s are expected to go to polls tomorrow – Wednesday June 28.

From the Samarai-Murua Open Electorate, these LLG’s are Yaleyamba Rural LLG, Murua Rural LLG and Louisiade Rural LLG.

New security measures for ballot papers in Simbu

Provincial Election steering Committee chairman, Joe Tunda Nao, says the committee came up with the stamp for security measures.

Nao explained that the use of this stamp consumed a lot of time which resulted in the polling being deferred from yesterday to today.

“We have to do quality checks on all the ballot papers and stamp them before sending them to the polling venues.

“The same stamped ballot paper must be returned and not others apart from that.”

He added that the teams are ready to be dispatched to remote areas in the province.

Electoral official: No foul play at Wewak Open

That was the confirmation given by the East Sepik Election Manager Kila Ralai today.

Ralai clarified to Loop PNG that the ballot papers were in the possession of certified election officials when stopped by supporters of certain candidates.

He said they were travelling in a PMV hired by the PNG Electoral Commission to go into their designated polling venue, a day in advance to prepare.

Ralai confirmed that the officials were not escorted by any security personnel which made the supporters suspicious.

VIDEO: 2017 elections not inclusive of PLWDs

The need for free and fair election was also emphasized. 


Gloria Bauai reports