Patilias Gamato

MKA election funds released

The Government has released K1 million while NCDC has released K500,000.

Preparations for polling are now on target.

Commissioner Gamato said ballot papers have already been printed and delivered to the Commission for sorting and dispatching to the office of the Returning Officer Terence Hentinu.

He said the Motu-Koitabu roll has 16,741 registered voters.

The roll was also finalized this week and printing has commenced.

Voters will cast their votes next Wednesday, October 3.

EC to source NID data after it matures

Speaking at the Southern Region Consultation Workshop on the Civil & Identity Registration Act Review, Gamato said currently the office does not have all data the EC might need to prepare for the elections.

Gamato said this following discussions on the need for information sharing between organisations to ensure better coordination and planning, especially in elections to deter double and ghost voting.

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.

Kramer refers Gamato to fraud directorate

This regards the Commission’s decision in the declaration of the Southern Highlands provincial seat.

Bryan Kramer met with the media yesterday, describing the EC’s decision as an act of electoral fraud.

“I submitted the basis of my determination that constitutes electoral fraud by the Commissioner, and filed a complaint with the National Fraud (Directorate). I intend to do the same with the Ombudsman Commission, and I am giving them up to a month to allow them to consider the evidence and whether they will take any formal action.”

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.

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.

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.