Sinai Speaks on polling schedules

Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai in an interview regarding polling schedules, explained the status of polling schedules for the Momase, NGI, and the Southern regions, with corrections made with the Highlands region then signed off on June 29th and June 30th for the three other regions.

PNGEC anticipates K50 mil

Sinai said, “We are expecting the government to give us the K50 million that we have budgeted.”

He said the K50 million will fund the PNGEC’s operations plan.

PNGEC is working in collaboration with relevant agencies such as the Prime Minister’s Department, Ministry of Planning, and Treasury.

The Acting Commissioner said while awaiting the funds to be available, PNGEC has been conducting a voter roll verification exercise in the Motu-Koitabu ward areas.

He said fourteen teams have been stationed in Moresby Northwest and Moresby South.

Electoral Roll Update Launched

PNGEC will be coordinating closely with each provincial administration to carry out essential preparations for the 2022 National General Election.

Acting Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai said it is essential to start small scale and that the election management body would be developing and maintaining a photo roll.

Identification cards (IDs) would be issued to eligible voters using their serial numbers once registered. 

Mr Sinai said these efforts are part of the PNGEC’s efforts to establish a working biometric system for future elections in the country.

PNGEC Upgrades Voter ID System

PNGEC will be using the biometric system to update voter details and conduct new enrollments leading up to the 2022 general elections.

The exercise will be coordinated through all 22 provinces by the provincial administrations at the local level government (LLG) and council wards.  

Last year, the biometric system was piloted for voter registration for the Kupiano Ward 5 LLG by-election.

Acting Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai acknowledged that the electoral roll may not be perfect before the elections.

PNGEC Launches Election Program

When launching the Electoral Roll, the PNGEC also released the 2022 national election program. The dates for the elections are as follows:

Issue of writs – April 28

Close of Nominations – May 5th

Polling – June 25th to July 8th

Return of Writs – July 29th

PNGEC's focus is to strengthen coordination between the provincial administration and key stakeholders for efficient and successful 2021 electoral roll update and the 2022 national election. However, funding is yet to be made available for the operations.

Biometric voter registration

This week the PNG Electoral Commission is conducting a photo roll display and verification for the Kupiano Town ward, this is a follow up on the biometric voter registration field test conducted last year during the LLG by-election.

The roll update program will be used to capture existing and new voter information, fingerprints and photo.

Acting PNG Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai says several other roll improvements and voter registration projects have been conducted in other provinces.

This will set a baseline for the 2021 National Enrolment Strategy.

MNW By-Election proceeds

The order of draw was deferred twice due to the pandemic and the death of the Late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.

Moresby North West By-Election Returning Officer, Desmond Timiyaso says COVID-19 protocols will be observed under the ‘Niupela Pasin’ and urged candidates to comply with the SOP.

The campaign period initially set for eight weeks, will now run for six weeks.

Polling is scheduled on the 2nd of June, with a two week window.

Mr Timiyaso also confirmed that five counting centres will be set up for primary counts for the five wards.

3, 340 candidates running for 111 seat Parliament

According to statistics officially released by the PNG Electoral Commission, there are 3, 340 candidates vying for the 111 seats in Papua New Guinea’s National Parliament, 167 are females and 3,168 are males,  

The Highlands Region have seen 1, 320 candidates nominated to contest, followed by Momase - 870, Southern – 819 and New Guinea Highlands – 331.

Meanwhile, Southern Region tops the list with more female candidates contesting with 59, Highlands – 49, Momase – 42 and NGI – 17.