Electoral Commissioner

Sinai Appointed Electoral Commissioner

The Electoral Commission Appointments Committee (ECAC) has approved the appointment of Mr Sinai as the Electoral Commissioner.
Prime Minister, James Marape and ECAC Chairman said the ECAC has approved to advise the Head of State to appoint Mr Sinai as the Electoral Commissioner for four years or until he reaches 60 years of age. Whichever occurs first, effective from 1st December 2021 and directed the First Legislative Counsel to prepare the necessary instruments of revocation and appointment of Mr Sinai as Electoral Commissioner for gazettal.

Gamato bailed

Justice Teresa Berrigan, at the Waigani National Court House in today’s ruling, said investigation is ongoing and police are yet to compile his file.

However, she says Gamato’s case of fraud and corruption related offences, heard under crimes court, will remain, hence he will be subjected to court hearing.

The commissioner was charged and arrested for official corruption after police got a warrant of arrest on Thursday December 5th.

Supplementary LLG elections completed

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed that all the three regions – Highlands, Southern and New Guinea Islands – have completed their polling and counting and declared their winning ward councillors. 

Gamato said the NGI Region had all six wards in East New Britain declared unopposed, which means that no election conducted since only one candidate that had nominated. 

He said Hela, Enga, Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Chimbu, Eastern Highland, Gulf, Western and Milne Bay brought in all their supplementary election reports/returns and the writs over the weekend.

By-election planned for Menyamya

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says this is to give the immediate family, relatives and friends of the late Member Thomas Pelika adequate time to mourn his death and fulfill customary obligations.

“An adequate timeline between one to three months is often allowed for the family and friends to pay respects and undertake traditional obligations before nominations are formally called to commence the electoral process,” stated Gamato.

Funding issues hinder electoral roll update: Gamato

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said this, in turn, resulted in a good number of voters being turned away at polling places, thus denying their democratic right to actively participate in the election process to elect their LLG assembly representatives.

“While we (PNGEC) accept blame as the election management body of PNG, I equally would hold the national government responsible for not providing the necessary funds to enable the Commission to update the roll in 2018,” Gamato said in a statement.

LLG elections progressive report

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says most polling should have been completed by July 23 or tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24. 

“There are minor or isolated incidents reported but generally polling and counting is progressing well.”

Gamato outlines the progressive report on polling and counting by provinces as follows:

Follow procedures, advises Gamato

He issued the comments after Madang MP Bryan Kramer filed a complaint with the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate to investigate the commissioner on electoral fraud allegations.

It is also in response to lawyer Stanley Liria’s comments in one of the dailies on problems faced during the 2017 National Elections.

Gamato defamation case dismissed

Justice Ere Kariko summarily dismissed the defamation proceeding today.

He raised concerns on the growing number of cases in court where lawyers do not comply with directions issued by the court.

In this case filed by Gamato in July last year, Judge Kariko said there are straight forward facts on defamatory claims against the blogger.

Gamato alleged the blogger published defamatory remarks, associating his surname with a fruit.

Verdict next week

A man has stood trial at the Waigani National Court over allegations he impersonated his uncle between June 2015 and January 2017, to access Service providers’ payments from the 2012 National Elections.

Joseph Ande made false representations as Thomas Martin, at the Westpac Bank, to access monies for services rendered to the Electoral Commission.

He allegedly opened two accounts at the bank, using a fake driver’s license, to access two BPNG Cheques drawn from the PNG Electoral Commission totaling K61, 000.

Gamato responds to Opposition’s statements

He made the remark following recent statements by Member for Sinesine-Yongomugl, Kerengu Kua, Opposition Leader and Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch and Northern Governor Gary Juffa in the daily papers on election issues.

“Firstly, let me advise the respective leaders that some of these matters are in court as election petitions, therefore, we must all respect the judicial process and refrain from making public statements until the Courts have dealt with the election petitions,” said Gamato in an 11-page statement.