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Secretary Marles says review ‘builds public confidence’

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 12, 2012) – Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen and Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Islands Affairs, Richard Marles, jointly inspected preliminary electoral roll for the Southern Region on Friday.

Mr. Marles was in Port Moresby to see for himself the preliminary electoral roll updates. He accompanied Mr. Trawen to Hanuabada village to witness the roll updates there.

"Inspection of the roll is an important part of the democratic process and helps build public confidence," Mr. Marles said.

Mr. Marles was satisfied with the work carried out by the Electoral Commission prior to the elections, saying it showed the democracy process of elections.

He said that Australia wanted PNG to have a credible election on time that was why they were pumping in more funds and assistance to help PNG stage a peaceful, free and fair election.

"Australia has provided about K26 million [US$12.4 million] to help PNG hold a free and fair election in June," he said. "We will be providing more support, in relation to PNG's election this time than we ever have in the past and we had a look earlier, you would have got a vision of the 88 computers that are now in place, helping to actually put the raw data that we're seeing collected now, into electronic form."

"The logistics that we're supplying include two helicopters. In total, over a two-year period, there will be a K26 million to supporting these elections. Because they are so important for PNG of course, the elections will be held on time," he said.

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