Impacts of Electoral Violence

Transparency International PNG’s (TIPNG) Domestic Election Observation Report 2022 stated that causes of violence included citizens’ dissatisfaction on their ability to vote.

The media also reported an estimated 50-200 people died through election related violence in the country.

A notable incident was the shooting allegedly by security personnel of a woman trying to vote in NCD.

TIPNG says the persistent level of violence calls into question the state’s strategy relating to election security.

Rosso Brushes Aside Critics

When attending PANGU Pati member, John Kaupa’s declaration yesterday, DPM Rosso highlighted that PANGU’s big win was the choice of the people and that the election was not rigged by PANGU as assumed by many.

“PANGU Pati has been given a huge mandate by our people, now Kaupa is our 37th candidate, and so the people of PNG have spoken, many people saying that PANGU Pati rigged the elections but you have seen it yourself?” he asked. 

Difference in 2022 election noted

The two counts fall under the criminal code and summary offences act.
Lae Metropolitan Superintendent, Chris Kunyanban, said a complaint was lodged regarding wilful damage that amounted to at least K10,000.
Kunyanban said a vehicle was allegedly damaged during a campaign rally at Eriku Oval by Ps Peter Fabian and his supporters.
“The person who was the victim registered his complaint through normal process – like anybody would do,” he stated.

Lae To Vote On July 4

Morobe Election Manager, Simon Soheke, clarified that the polling date, which was initially set for Tuesday, July 5th, has been brought back to Monday.

“Campaigning will end tomorrow, Friday, July 1st,” he stated.

“By midnight, all political rallies, campaigning using loudhailers and candidates’ gatherings must cease by tomorrow.

“On Saturday and Sunday, we will have an in-depth look at the candidates and on Monday, we’ll go into the polls.”

Head teacher in election-related conflict

Just this month, the Electoral Commissioner revoked the appointment of Esia Batu as Finschhafen’s Returning Officer (RO), and replaced him with the head teacher of Ogeranang Primary School, Kawage Mesere.

Since this month's revocation of Batu, 26 out of the 27 Finschhafen candidates and their supporters have been disputing the change, claiming it to be foul play and in the interest of one of the candidates.

The candidates have been meeting with officials at the Morobe Electoral Commission office since last week to air their grievances.

Election Campaign ends July 1st

He said candidates have this week to polish up and do their final campaigning.

Sinai said all campaign activities including movement of people and staging rallies will end on Friday. He urged candidates to observe and respect electoral laws by removing loud hailers and speakers mounted on their vehicles after Friday in readiness for polling which starts on 4 July 2022.

The Commissioner said polling will not be conducted on Saturday and Sunday (July 2-3), as these are considered days of worship and is protected by law.

Timely Donation For Security Forces

Police Commissioner, David Manning said the vests and helmets would ensure the security forces are able to maintain their operations effectively throughout the election period.

He said the appropriate vests or protection gears added an increased level of confidence to the members of the security forces.

Commissioner Manning made this remarks during the signing of the gifting agreement between the Australian Government and the Royal PNG Constabulary yesterday in Port Moresby.

Police Issues Illegal Gun Warning

He said individuals found guilty will be charged under the recently amended Firearms Act 2022 urging the public to “seriously question their character and integrity”.

“Those candidates who feel the need to carry firearms and move around, I can say that they have no place in the election.

 “We will not take this matter lightly. If it means they spend time in jail waiting for bail during this election period”, he added.  

NIP Teachers Warned

Apelis Benson said he has seen school trucks for Lasiliba, Lamusmus, Tapias, Yaraka, Lemakot TVET and Primary including Maggai Agro Secondary School, used for campaigns.

Mr. Benson has further warned teachers to stay away from engaging in campaigns.

“So far I have seen direct breach of the Joint circular from the Teaching Service Commission and National Department of Education,” he said.

Increase in Morobe’s female candidates

Twenty-two female candidates in Morobe have nominated to contest nine of the 11 seats in the province.

This year’s elections has seen seven more female candidates nominate, compared to 2017 where only 15 raised their hands to contest 7 seats.

Six female candidates are contesting the Nawaeb Open seat, the regional seat has four, three in Markham Open, two female candidates each for Bulolo, Huon Gulf and Tewai-Siassi, and one female candidate each for Finschhafen, Menyamya and Wau-Waria.

Kabwum and Lae have no female contestants.