PNG Electoral Commission

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.

TIPNG: PNGEC Lacking Collaboration

TIPNG believes there is a lack of coordination and transparency by the PNGEC.

It also states that collaboration with partner agencies to carry out the by-election will ensure that administrative issues do not deprive voters in the electorate from exercising their constitutional rights.

Menyamya by-election to proceed

Commissioner Patilias Gamato said he had written to the SOE Controller David Manning to exempt both districts from the lock-down, so they can conduct the by-elections.

However, Manning responded and asked the PNGEC to hold back on the by-elections, but Gamato said the decision to hold them, rests on him as the electoral Commissioner.

“This is no disrespect and disobedience to the laws and regulations of the SoE,” Gamato said.

Commission calls for support from provincial administrations

The appeal was made by the Electoral Commissioner's Delegate John Kalamoroh.

Kalamoroh said PNGEC was ready to conduct the Supplementary LLG elections but it does not have the necessary funds.

On November 5th, the PNG Electoral Commission wrote to Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele requesting for a funding of K4.7 million.

“The PNGEC is ready to conduct Supplementary LLG elections for the 96 failed wards in 10 provinces but we don't have the necessary funds,” stated Kalamoroh.

Kandep judicial recount to cost K3m: PNGEC

The Waigani National Court last week ordered a recount after upholding the election petition filed by runner-up and former MP Don Polye on grounds of errors and omissions by the Electoral Commission.

Justice Colin Makail in his decision upheld two of the six grounds that went to trial, and they were mostly to do with errors and omissions by the Electoral Commission:

Electoral Commission needs support

Early this year, the national government made the decision and asked the Electoral Commission to administer the 2019 LLG elections in partnership with provincial administrations to pool resources, save money and promote provincial ownership of the process.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says though it is an exciting potential partnership, the dilemma is that the Commission has yet to conclude agreements with all the 20 different provincial administrations.

Electoral Commission stands firm on recount venue

Commissioner’s delegate Simon Sinai says this was due to financial commitments PNGEC had already made to service providers in Lae to facilitate the recount there.

“The Electoral Commission has already committed about half-a-million kina to service providers in Lae and it’s impossible to recoup the funds and divert them for a new recount venue.”

Sinai said Lae was selected as a neutral recount venue to avoid the escalating and ongoing law and order problems experienced in Simbu straight after the National Court decision ordering a recount on 27 November, 2018.