Electoral Commissioner

Gamato calls for referendum funding

Gamato said they have yet to receive funding despite the referendum being almost a year away.

There are key areas the Electoral Commission needs to address before the referendum.

Gamato said K20 million has been allocated under the 2018 National Budget for the purposes of preparing for the referendum however, they are yet to receive a toea.

He also called on the ABG for their support.

Legislative changes for referendum needed: Gamato

He said the main area of change needed is in Schedule One of the Organic Law on Peace Building in Bougainville.

Gamato said this clause deals with the operational process of the referendum.

He stated they have gone through and made comments where changes can be done.

The process of legislative changes is quite long and Gamato hopes the alterations can go through.

EC powers questioned

The reference looks at what kind of powers the Electoral Commissioner has.

Filed by the Ombudsman Commission in July last year, the Supreme Court wants the reference to be heard quickly and has issued directions to the commission to comply with before February 14.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia today endorsed draft index to the reference books and proposed answers to the reference questions that were drafted by the Ombudsman Commission. This including the statement of facts from the Commission.

About 15 questions were proposed to the Supreme Court to interpret.

LLG election dates yet to be confirmed

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato is conscious of the LLG elections not disturbing the APEC meetings.

Earlier this year, Commissioner Gamato had used his powers to defer the LLG Elections 12 months after the 2017 National General Elections.

This means the LLG elections would commence in July 2018.

The year 2018 is also significant as the country looks forward to hosting one of the biggest world meetings, APEC.

Gamato clarifies SHP Governor’s victory

Gamato made this clarification after being allegedly accused by SHP candidates claiming that the proper process was not followed to declare Powi.

In a press conference over the weekend, the SHP regional candidates pointed out that the province is not accepting the declaration because the democratic process in electing a leader was hijacked by the electoral commission.

Gamato accepts writs for SHP

In accepting the writ from the SHP Provincial Returning Officer, Steven Gore Kaupa, Commissioner Gamato also accepted and recognized incumbent Governor William Titpe Powi as the duly elected MP-elect for Southern Highlands Provincial.

Upon legal advice, the Electoral Commissioner applied section 175 of the Organic Law on National Elections under “special circumstances” to use the primary count results to confirm the declaration made by the former Provincial Returning Officer Jacob Kurap on Friday, 20 July 2017 at 4:04pm at the Momei Oval in Mendi.

VIDEO: Leaders call for fair count

The leaders who travelled to Port Moresby to deliver the petition said counting has been marred by the illegal conduct of unauthorized individuals which has resulted in violence and destruction.


Charmaine Poriambep with more 

SHP leaders call for boxes to be counted

The leaders, who travelled to Port Moresby to deliver the petition, said counting has been marred by the illegal conduct of unauthorised individuals, which has resulted in violence and destruction.

The leaders claim that out of 648 ballot boxes counted so far, only 462 were legally counted, 84 boxes illegally set aside, and 101 boxes counted by an illegal Returning Officer, Francis Akol, appointed by David Wakias.

The leaders called on Gamato to have the remaining 83 boxes counted and the purported 101 illegal boxes disregarded.

Commissioner forced to relocate SHP counting

The ballot boxes were transported to Mt Hagen under tight security escort over the weekend.

Provincial Elections Manager, Jacob Wakias, in a press conference in Mt Hagen yesterday told the media that the Election Commissioner has directed him to change the venue.

Southern Highlands was the second province in the country to go for polling after Hela. Declarations of its five districts were completed successfully but the counting for the provincial seat is still going on.

Gamato apologises to late Kalpa’s families

He clarified in a statement today that the Returning Officer, who declared Nick Kuman as Member-elect for Gumine Open electorate in Simbu and signed the writ, was Fredy Yaun and not the late Peter Kalpa.

“It was in fact an error on the part of my officers who prepared my statement for the press conference in not confirming the correct name of the Returning Officer who declared Nick Kuman here in Port Moresby.