National ID Card Won’t Be Used In Next PNG Election

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Electoral Commissioner: ID rollout not complete

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 9, 2015) – The national identification card (NID) will not be used in the 2017 National Election, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says.

Instead, the commission will continue using common rolls for voters’ identification, he says.

"This is because most infrastructure phases (for NID registrations) are yet to be rolled out across the country, especially in the rural areas," Gamato explained. "The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission will carry out massive updates on electoral rolls right across the country starting with the Southern region, to Highlands followed by other two regions next year to prepare for 2017.

"And preparations for 2017 have already started as the PNGEC has mapped out what it wants to do to deliver a free, fair and safe election,’’ he said.

"Since taking office, I have done some quick readings and reviews on literature that were left behind by the former commissioner and I have pulled out some important issues that we don’t want to repeat in 2017.’’

Gamato also outlined some of the PNGEC’s immediate priorities for 2016 including, supplementary by elections in the Highlands provinces, updating of common rolls and budgeting and preparations for 2017 election operations.

Speaking at a political party workshop last week, Gamato told party representatives that PNGEC was committed to work with the community, Government authorities, media and civil societies to plan for a free, fair and safe election.

‘’Therefore, I am calling upon all the relevant agencies especially the political parties, the Registry of Political Parties office and the PNG Electoral Commission to work together to deliver a successful 2017 national elections.’’

Gamato thanked the Registrar of Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu for the organising the workshop.

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