Australian officials say they are providing an unprecedented level of help to Papua New Guinea as it prepares for this month’s general election. PNG is now gearing up for its general election after a tumultuous year in politics, stemming from the long-running leadership dispute between Peter O’Neill and Sir Michael Somare over who is the legitimate prime minister. But preparing for the election is not a task the country can handle on its own.
The country’s rugged geography and poor infrastructure makes preparing for the elections a huge logistical task. Australian Defence Force planes and helicopters are being used to fly election material and personnel around the country, while the Australian Federal Police have funded and installed a $2.5 million national communication network for local police. AusAID and the Australian Civilian Corps are also providing training for local electoral officials.