Electoral Commissioner

Gamato comes clear on using deceased’s name

Gamato said it was misquotation on their part.

He said the Electoral Commission is now working on a media statement to correct the name of the returning officer and will retract his statement.

Gamato’s misquotation has however, resulted in a court order that is currently in place, preventing both Nick Kuman and Lukas Dekena from participating in parliament until the case is determined. 

Declaration of Southern Highlands Provincial seat invalid

Powi is a People’s National Congress Party candidate defending his seat in the 2017 National Election.

“I rejected the declaration because they have yet to reach the absolute majority mark,” Gamato told Loop PNG this afternoon.  

He added that counting must first be completed before a winner can be declared.  

However, Powi and Provincial Returning Officer Jacob Kurap in a media conference today claimed the declaration was valid and in line with the Organic Laws of Provincial and Local Level Government Elections.

RO Havara will be referred to police

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said Moka Havara will be referred for investigation once the electoral process is completed.

He described the incident on Thursday at the Airways hotel as unfortunate.

Havara could not be located on Thursday morning to declare Sir Mekere Morauta after he surpassed the absolute majority.

The announcement was made at 9am but the declaration took place three hours later.

He was however at Airways declaring Joseph Tonde as member elect.

Blogger’s lawyer told to file motion

This notice of motion will be to ask the court to set aside the restraining orders that were taken out against Namorong by the Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

Commissioner Gamato on July 12th obtained restraining orders from the Waigani National Court, to stop Namarong, his servants and agents from further publishing defamatory remarks on Facebook and Twitter, against him.

The specific remarks were not stated in the notice of motion moved last week, but his lawyer told Loop PNG after court that the remarks associated Commissioner Gamato to a fruit.

​Counting of boxes allowed despite video evidence

Gamato in a media conference yesterday afternoon in Port Moresby said only one of the six ballot boxes, which have allegations of foul play raised, will be put aside during the election counting.  

“According to observations by the State Legal Team for Jiwaka, for the first six disputed ballot boxes, there is some form of evidence in the form of amateur video footage for only one ballot box, which is for Kendu 1 polling place.

“The boxes from these polling venues of Bolba 1, Bolba 2, Tolu 1, Tolu 2, and Kendu 2 will be counted

VIDEO: "Only one box will be set aside"

In a media conference this afternoon he announced that only one of the ballot boxes will be put aside, that box is from Kendu 1.

This comes after a state legal team for Jiwaka observed that video evidence only showed vote rigging for Kendu 1 and not the other five disputed ballot boxes.

 

Meredith Kuusa with more 

Gamato: Writs, tally sheets will be made available

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said this when granting a request made by the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia during the two-day judges’ workshop on election petition.

Sir Salamo made a request to Commissioner Gamato to provide those documents to the Court registry from all the electorates for their records in preparation for the upcoming election petitions.

“We will make it available this election,” Gamato told the judges.

The request was made after lawyers gave a perspective of election petitions during the workshop.

Gamato welcomes US envoy’s comments

He said this following a TV interview in which the Ambassador commended the Electoral Commission.

Ebert-Grey said there was less violence, there was good logistical planning, and she noted the initiation of separate lines for women and persons living with disability.

She also urged the Government to urgently work on improving the electoral roll – a year around process - and said the United States has had similar problems.

Gamato said that a review of the roll will be done immediately after the elections.

Gamato refutes bias claims

The comments were made by incumbent Member for Sinesine-Yongomugl, Kerenga Kua, following the declaration of PNC candidates, Jame Marape (Tari-Pori), and Justin Tkatchenko (Moresby South) recently.

Gamato said the statement made by Kua in one of the dailies was incorrect and wanted to rectify any misconceptions.

“In some of my earlier press statement, I said if electorates that have completed their polling, they can allow for two to three days for preparations and go straight into counting.

Electoral officers urged to work diligently

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato reminded electoral officers about the crucial role they play.

However, Gamato thanked all the PNG Electoral Commission staff stationed at the counting venues for their hard work and dedication.

“There will be petitions and disruptions by candidates and scrutineers but the election managers must handle these actions with the legal officers provided to them to keep the election process moving.

“I’ve issued this instruction to all election managers and assistant election managers,” Gamato said.