Simon Sinai

No changes to Returning Officers: Sinai

Mr Sinai said this after intending candidates for Kompiam-Ambum Open in Enga Province, disputed the appointment of the district’s returning officer, claiming conflict of interest.
He said although the intending candidates have a right to petition, appointed returning officers will not be changed.
Last Thursday, intending candidates for Wabag Open also petitioned the election manager to change the district’s returning officer, whom they allege is a relative of the sitting MP.

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:

Sinai Appointed Electoral Commissioner

The Electoral Commission Appointments Committee (ECAC) has approved the appointment of Mr Sinai as the Electoral Commissioner.
Prime Minister, James Marape and ECAC Chairman said the ECAC has approved to advise the Head of State to appoint Mr Sinai as the Electoral Commissioner for four years or until he reaches 60 years of age. Whichever occurs first, effective from 1st December 2021 and directed the First Legislative Counsel to prepare the necessary instruments of revocation and appointment of Mr Sinai as Electoral Commissioner for gazettal.

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.

PNG EC assists ABG elections

Sinai said the PNG Electoral Commission has been assisting elections in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville from the initial stages, right through polling and now to the counting process.

Kupiano to pilot biometric project

The Electoral Commission, PNG Civil and Identification Registry, Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs and the Central Provincial Administration will be collaborating in this project.

Sinai said the pilot project is a collaborative effort between the agencies to collect development data.

Voters registration for the Kupiano Ward 5 LLG by-election will be led by PNG Electoral Commission using the biometric system to get voter details and conduct new enrollments.