PNG Opposition: Election Commission Needs Proper Funding For Fair And Transparent Outcome

Polye: myriad challenges and unaddressed concerns, Election Commission working in isolation

By Jeffrey Elapa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, September 30, 2016) – The Electoral Commission must be adequately funded for the 2017 General Election to achieve a fair and transparent result, Opposition Leader Don Polye said.

Mr Polye said yesterday that the Electoral Commission was working in isolation and was ill-prepared to conduct a free and fair election before the writs are issued next April.

He said many things are not correct and have yet to be addressed like the appointments of returning officers, the update of the Electoral Roll which is a extensive work and should have been done a year before the elections.

He said he feared that the election would not be conducted well as a result of ill-preparedness of the Electoral Commission and the Government.

Mr Polye said the names of the eligible voters would not be registered which would deny the rights of many voters.

He said that the issues of boundary commission had not been addressed for electorates in Jiwaka and Hela while other vast and over-populated districts needed clear mapping and electoral boundaries.

He said the mapping would also address other issues such as resource developments and that is an important decision the Government should have addressed but have continued to turn a blind eye.

He said “the careless unbudgeted and uncontrolled spending” of the Government had resulted in failure to release timely funds, and there was a possibility of a failed election which other countries had experienced in the past.

“Therefore I call on the Government and the Electoral Commission to prepare for the election.

“I also call on the international observers to come and observe the elections to see how if democracy is observed in the elections,” Mr Polye said.

PNG Post-Courier
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