PNG Electoral Commission

Safe elections, a challenge

Unfortunately, this has not been the case across the country, and conducting safe elections has been particularly challenging in several provinces, districts, and the nation’s Capital, Port Moresby.

Sinai has called on leaders, political parties, candidates, scrutineers, and their supporters to respect the electoral process and refrain from inciting violence or intervening in the counting process.

Polling to end this week amidst election violence

In yesterday’s media conference Commissioner Simon Sinai said, “I am working with the Police Commissioner, Joint Security Task Force, and other stakeholders to make sure that the integrity of the election is safeguarded.”

He called on leaders and candidates to respect the electoral process and refrain from inciting violence or intervening in the process.

“Those who burn ballot boxes, or schools, or houses; those who have harmed other and those who have threatened election officials hold the rest of our people hostage.

Involve Church In Election Duties: PM

He said this while appealing to all PNG Electoral Commission workers to uphold the integrity of the Commission during their processing of the elections. 
 
The Prime Minister was speaking in light of the news of a returning officer’s sentencing by Justice Theresa Berrigan to seven years in jail for “corruptly receiving K184,300 to influence the outcome of the elections for NCD seat in the 2017 general election” as reported in the media. 
 

Leave Returning Officers Alone: Sinai

In a press conference held on Friday 18 February, Commissioner Sinai said names of Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers will be announced in March, before the Issue of Writs in April.

He said his decision to hold back on announcing the names earlier was to avoid manipulation and influence that would negatively affect the outcome of election operations.

The Commission said it is important that people recognize the importance of the election process and it is the responsibility of the election management body to ensure that this happens. 

Sinai Updates On 2022 NGE

Commissioner Sinai made several significant announcements, among these, the appointment of the National Broadcasting Corporation PNG as the official broadcaster of the 2022 National General Elections.

Election dates are as follows:

TIPNG host BEIP workshop

This was the message shared with provincial election managers at a one-day workshop held in Port Moresby by Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) in partnership with the PNGEC recently.

PM Updates On Common Roll

He said the 2020 National Census was not held as scheduled due to COVID-19 and the politics at that time. Prime Minister Marape said this in response to questions from Rabaul MP, Dr Allan Marat, relating to the country’s population and population update in view of the elections.

He said the Electoral Commission would give an update this week on updating of the Common Roll.

“Let me assure our citizens that the Common Roll update and knowing the population we have are very important.

Motu Koita Undergoes Verification Exercise

Acting Commissioner, Simon Sinai gave an update on the progress of this exercise. 
He said fourteen teams from the Electoral Commission have been dispersed in the Motu-Koitabu area, particularly Moresby Northwest and Moresby South.

The teams are conducting a verification exercise and confirming eligible voters, registering professional voters, removing names of deceased persons or people who no longer live in the area. 

Trial for Gamato and Hetinu

Gamato, former Electoral Commissioner, and Hetinu, then NCD Election Manager in the 2017 National General Elections (NGE), were committed to stand trial to answer to these allegations.

Police allege that the two had been bribed by a particular candidate with K184, 300 during the 2017 NGE in NCD.

This morning three state witnesses appeared before Justice Teresa Barrigan at the Waigani National Court to give evidence.

PNGEC ready to rollout Biometric system

The Electoral Commission’s Acting Commissioner, Simon Sinai revealed this last week and said the PNGEC is ready to commence with the verification and identification of voters using the Biometric voting system.

Mr Sinai expressed that if approved, the biometric system will be the way forward for future elections in the country. Starting small scale in cities like Port Moresby will benefit the rollout in the 89 electorates across PNG.

The PNGEC has 120 machines available to commence the biometric project, but will need more.