Papua New Guinea: 2 Million Papuan Voters Threatened to Lose Voting Rights, House of Parliament Reacts | Netral News

House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo (Bamsoet) fears that some 2 million Papuan voters could not exercise their voting rights in the 2019 Election. This was said after the Papua Election Commission released a data on voters who did not have an electronic identity card (e-KTP) comprise of 2 million prospective voters. Bamsoet says if referring to Regulation Number 7 Year 2017 on General Elections, e-KTP becomes a valid requirement of voters to exercise their right to vote. The right to vote for all Indonesian citizens (WNI) must be guaranteed. Therefore, Bamsoet asked the Interior Ministry together with the Papua Population and Civil Registration Service to immediately collect data / matching activities and research on people who do not have e-KTP.

Papua New Guinea: We finally know the results of Papua New Guinea’s elections | The Washington Post

Papua New Guinea’s parliamentary elections took place June 24 to July 8, and there was significant controversy. During the election, officials went on strike in the capital city, Port Moresby, and violence broke out at polling stations in Enga province, where at least 20 people died. Election officials worked slowly to tally the votes, delaying the announcement of results as a way to protest lack of payment. It wasn’t until late September that the last undeclared seat was filled. Despite these and other setbacks, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill formed a new government in Papua New Guinea in early August. Here’s what you need to know about this country’s complex voting system. In Papua New Guinea’s ninth election since independence from Australia in 1975, 3,340 candidates ran in races for 111 parliamentary seats. Half of those candidates came from 44 political parties — including 25 new parties registered for this election. The other half of the candidate pool ran as independents.

Papua New Guinea: Extra security callout to Papua New Guinea’s Highlands over election violence | Radio New Zealand

Papua New Guinea’s government has approved the callout of additional security forces to the Highlands, where election-related violence lingers. At least twenty people have died since vote counting began last month in Enga province’s capital Wabag. PNG’s election has finished except in one electorate in Southern Highlands, where at least five deaths have been reported over grievances. The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has announced the expansion of the Defence Force’s callout in Hela Province to prevent unrest in neighbouring Enga and Southern Highlands.

Papua New Guinea: The final outcome of the elections may be drawn out | EMTV

Vote counting in the Papua New Guinea’s national elections is continuing, with the results yet to be announced. The final shape of the government may take time to emerge. A voting map from the PNG Electoral Commission on the progress of the election. Green signifies voting is complete, orange that preference distribution is ongoing, light green that first preference counting is completed and blue that first preference counting is on-going. According to the PNG Electoral Commission, Papua New Guinea’s Governor General, Sir Bob Dadae, has granted a four-day extension to the return of writs, from Monday 24 July, to Friday 28 July. The four-day extension will give additional time to electorates that are slow in counting to speed up and complete their counting.

Papua New Guinea: PNG citizens deprived of the right to vote – Forum observer team | Radio New Zealand

The Pacific Islands Forum’s election observer team to Papua New Guinea says a large number people were deprived of their constitutional rights to vote during the past month’s polling. The team deployed from 19 June to 24 July, and observed pre-polling, polling, and counting. In an interim statement released yesterday the observer group said there were several significant challenges noted, the most serious of which was the alarmingly large number of names missing from electoral rolls. It said this was especially disappointing given the team observed high levels of civic awareness and interest in participating in the election.

Papua New Guinea: Election unfairness linked to deadly violence in Enga | Radio New Zealand

Perceived unfairness in the vote count has been linked to deadly election-related violence in Papua New Guinea’s Enga province. The provincial capital Wabag remains tense and in lockdown after clashes between supporters of two rival candidates for the national election in one of Enga’s open seats, Kandep. Police have confirmed that at least four people, including two mobile squad officers, died in exchanges of gunfire in Wabag early on Saturday. Frustrations had been building last week among supporters of various candidates over disruptions to the vote count for Kandep Open. Although this electorate is in another part of Enga province, the count had been taking place in the provincial capital.

Papua New Guinea: Election chief described as complicit in fraud | Radio New Zealand

The leader of Papua New Guinea’s National Party says that without an explanation about the use of extra ballot papers the electoral commissioner, Patilias Gamato, is complicit in election fraud. Kerenga Kua is set to retain his seat in Sinasina-Yonggamugl and his party is tracking strongly in various electorates where results are yet to be declared. However, as vote counting advanced at a glacial pace across PNG, Mr Kua said the election had been fraught with inconsistencies which appeared to favour the ruling People’s National Congress party. Ommissions of names from PNG’s electoral roll has been a feature of previous PNG elections, but the problem has been widespread in this year’s edition and appears to have disadvantaged key voter bases.

Papua New Guinea: Ruling party has 300,000 ‘ghost voters’ in election, claims analysis | Asia Pacific Report

Statistical indicators suggest the Peter O’Neill government in Papua New Guinea has used its power of incumbency to “cook the books” in its favour, claims a new analysis by the independent website PNG Economics. Comparing the 2017 electoral roll with population estimates by electorate based on the 2011 census, the Electoral Commission has created nearly 300,000 “ghost voters” in O’Neill’s People’s Congress Party (PNC) controlled electorates. “This is 5682 ‘ghost voters’ for every PNC sitting member. This is over 10 times the number of ‘ghost voters’ for non-PNC sitting members. PNC members are also being declared elected based on ‘mathematical impossibilities’,” the website said. PNG Economics declares on its website that it provides “timely, accurate, frank and fearless advice”.

Papua New Guinea: Electoral roll problems ‘widespread’, observers call for urgent review | ABC

International election observers have said problems with the electoral roll in Papua New Guinea that prevented thousands of people from voting are “widespread”. In its interim statement, the Commonwealth Observer Group called for an urgent review after the election to improve the accuracy of the roll. Elections are in their third week and while polling continues in a small number of areas, the counting of ballots has started in others. Thousands of people were prevented from voting because their names were not on the electoral roll, despite saying they had registered. The Commonwealth Observer Group sent teams to 12 provinces to monitor the polling. The group’s chairman, Sir Anand Satyanand, said his observers found the problem was “widespread”.

Papua New Guinea: Roll gaps at all PNG polling places observers visited | Radio New Zealand News

A Melanesian Spearhead Group observer team says all polling stations it visited in Papua New Guinea’s election had too many incidences of names missing from the common roll. The MSG observers have issued an interim statement, as the vote counting stage of PNG’s lengthy election is underway across the country. It said “the 2017 PNG National Elections were fully embraced by PNG citizens, even though it presented many challenges”. In all the polling stations that were visited by the seven MSG observers, the voters were described as “excited to participate in the election” but many found their names had dropped off the roll, or not been added.

Papua New Guinea: Candidate launching court case over ‘unconstitutional’ Sunday voting | ABC

A candidate opposing Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister has taken the country’s Electoral Commission to court for allowing voting on a Sunday. Voting in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s electorate of Ialibu-Pangia began on Sunday July 2 after two days of delays, symptomatic of widespread problems with the current PNG national election. Opposing candidate Stanley Liria has filed an application in the PNG Supreme Court, asking for it to decide if the Sunday voting breached the constitution. Mr Liria said Sunday voting was prohibited in section 130 of PNG’s Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections, which says polling must take place on days “other than a Sunday or a public holiday”.

Papua New Guinea: Election leads to indecision | The Australian

Papua New Guinea’s struggle to complete its election tells the story of the country’s continuing woes. It is derived from one part corruption, one part inadequate funding, and several parts of the kind of bureaucratic incompetence that mars so many PNG institutions. This year’s election — the ninth since independence from Australia — which in theory finished last Saturday, started quietly with the most low-key campaigning period in living memory — since most candidates simply did not have the money to spend on the colourful electioneering of the past. In 2002, especially in the Southern Highlands, about 100 people died as the election campaign burst into tribal warfare.

Papua New Guinea: Advisors quit over election woes | Radio New Zealand

Members of an advisory committee assessing Papua New Guinea’s general election have resigned. This comes as polling is still in progress in some electorates, past its scheduled conclusion on Saturday. Polling could still take several more days to complete in an election full of disruptions. Yet counting is well advanced in a number of electorates, with at least one seat already declared – that of Tari Open in Hela province where the incumbent Finance Minister James Marape has swept to victory. The various complaints that have surfaced about electoral roll inconsistencies in Hela and other provinces are part of an area that the Electoral Advisory Committee was appointed to assess. The committee members were Chief Ombudsman nominee Richard Pagen, Transparency International nominee Richard Kassman and lawyer John Luluaki.

Papua New Guinea: Vote controversy mars Papua New Guinea elections as counting begins | AFP

Counting is under way in Papua New Guinea’s sprawling elections, officials said Thursday, but voting has been marred by claims of rigging, electoral roll flaws and ballot paper shortages. The last polling stations are due to close Saturday after two weeks of voting for the 111-seat parliament across the vast and remote country where previous elections have been tarnished by violence. The Pacific nation’s leader, Peter O’Neill of the People’s National Congress (PNC), has hailed this year’s poll as “calm and peaceful”, even as some voters complained their names had vanished from the electoral roll.

Papua New Guinea: From ‘anticipation, excitement’ to dictatorship fears in Papua New Guinea election | Asia Pacific Report

Feelings of “anticipation, excitement” first gripped Papua New Guinea as polling opened last month. … But the anticipation and excitement was short-lived and quickly descended into condemnation of the state of the electoral common roll as thousands reported they had not been listed, despite registration, and also disruptions as reported a week later on PMW’s Southern Cross. In Lae, students set fire to ballot papers in protest, while others at Unitech missed out on voting as only 1100 ballot papers arrived for a voting population of 5000. Similar stories were echoed across Papua New Guinea as 4000 to 5000 students in Goroka were denied the chance to cast a ballot.

Papua New Guinea: Voting in Papua New Guinea marred by problems with electoral rolls, disruptions | Reuters

Polling in Papua New Guinea has been hampered by reports of disruptions and voters being left off the electoral roll, but the head of an international election observer group said on Sunday there was no evidence they were deliberate. The two-week long election to decide who will lead the resource-rich South Pacific nation began on June 24, pitting 3,332 candidates from 44 political parties against each other for a place in the 111-seat parliament. But reports of problems at voting booths and allegations of ballot fraud have soured the mood among some in a country which has a history of electoral violence and corruption.

Papua New Guinea: Pressure grows on commissioner as PNG election continues | Radio New Zealand

As polling continues in Papua New Guinea’s general election, the Electoral Commissioner is under more pressure to resign. This followed a string of controversies early in the two-week polling schedule. Wild inconsistencies and flaws in the electoral roll, scheduling changes and delayed polling were already a bad way to start. The pressure then piled on the Commissioner, Patalias Gamato, after the sudden decision to defer polling in the capital from Tuesday to Friday. But then three electoral officials were detained for police questioning after they were found carrying marked ballot papers, suspicious documents and in one case US$57,000 in cash. A group of candidates from the capital have formed a petition urging Mr Gamato to stand down to restore integrity to the election.

Papua New Guinea: As Prime Minister Facing Corruption Warrant, Papua New Guinea Votes | teleSUR

Papua New Guinea polls opened on Saturday and will close July 8, because many voters have to navigate treacherous terrain to cast their ballot. Since independence in 1975, there has been an average turnover rate of 50 percent of Papua New Guinea Member of Parliaments. Sans opinion polling in the country, the vast majority of electorates – which are in the rural areas – dictate the election result. The election is being held amid Prime Minister Peter O’Neill facing an arrest warrant for corruption. He has vehemently denied all the allegations and, in recent months, weathered calls from protests and civil disobedience for his resignation.

Papua New Guinea: Voting postponed with officials on strike due to pay issues | Associated Press

Papua New Guinea voters are going to the polls in elections dominated by corruption allegations hanging over their prime minister and the South Pacific island nation’s deepening economic woes. Voting started Saturday and will continue until July 8 through a complex exercise safeguarded by police and soldiers in a rugged country where few roads penetrate a mountainous jungle interior, and where allegations of corruption and violence often mar elections. Vote counting will likely take another two weeks after the polls close, and which party the newly elected lawmakers will support to form a government will not be known for certain until they take office and arrive in the capital, Port Moresby.

Papua New Guinea: Voting starts in sprawling Papua New Guinea elections | The Jakarta Post

Voting began in Papua New Guinea (PNG) elections Saturday with the Pacific nation’s leader urging peaceful polling to show it has “come of age”, as he seeks another term to fix an economy under siege. Peter O’Neill’s People’s National Congress won the last election in 2012, and he has campaigned on delivering key infrastructure and providing free education and health to a country that remains mired in poverty. He also points to more stability in a sprawling crime-ridden land where elections have been marred by violence in the past.

Papua New Guinea: PNG set for costly, unpredictable poll | Nikkei Asian Review

Papua New Guinea is about to start its ninth general election, with voting taking place between June 24 and July 8, followed by counting over subsequent weeks. The coalition government led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill enters the election under siege, facing battles on political, legal and economic fronts. From the outside, O’Neill looks to be in a strong position. His government holds a significant majority in parliament, and the opposition is fractured. However, alliances in Papua New Guinea are often unstable, and the result of the election is far from certain. O’Neill, then treasurer, wrested power in 2011 from long-serving Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, widely known as Papua New Guinea’s “Grand Chief.” The country was starting the construction of its largest natural resource project, a $19 billion liquefied natural gas project that was expected to transform the nation’s economy.

Papua New Guinea: Violence Surfaces in Papua New Guinea Elections, But Not Only | IDN

As Papua New Guinea – one of the world’s most ethnically and linguistically diverse nations – prepares for national elections from June 24 to July 8, authorities are calling for peace and calm. Historically, tensions during polling, vote counting and the announcement of winners has erupted into widespread violence, but the phenomenon is not limited to election periods in this south-western Pacific island country. “Increased access to high-powered guns such as military style M16s and homemade shotguns, and the breakdown of traditional rules of warfare, has amplified the effects of violence, resulting in dozens – if not hundreds – of violent deaths and thousands of displacements each year, especially in the Highlands. We are seeing wounds that one would see in war zones,” says International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) chief official in PNG, Mark Kessler.

Papua New Guinea: Voters prepare to go to the polls | SBS News

Top of the election agenda are the economic management, provision of basic services, the perennial problem of corruption and there is little concern for external affairs. Australia is PNG’s biggest aid donor, with about $500 million spent annually, but the illegal asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island and the Kokoda track are the two issues that dominate media coverage of its nearest neighbour. This year’s election is receiving little foreign media attention with the ABC, Radio New Zealand, Al Jazeera and SBS among the very few reporting in country, which may also be because of the difficulty in obtaining journalist visas.

Papua New Guinea: ‘Make election less disruptive’, pleads commissioner ahead of PNG ballot | Asia Pacific Report

More than 800 election monitors will be deployed nationwide to observe and make independent reports on Papua New Guinea’s national election starting this Saturday. Electoral commissioner Patilias Gamato says international and local monitors will report back to their respective organisations, heads of governments and the government itself on the credibility of the PNG election process. “We have invited international election monitors or observers to visit during the months of June and July to see whether we have planned well for the election and also see if we followed the rule of law and the election laws on conducting the 2017 national election,” Gamato said in a statement.

Papua New Guinea: 800 plus election observers soon to be deployed | Post Courier

More than 800 election monitors will be deployed nationwide to observe and make independent reports on the National Election. Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said yesterday the international and local monitors will report back to their respective organisations, heads of governments and the government on the credibility of the PNG election process. “We have invited international election monitors or observers to visit during the months of June and July to see whether we have planned well for the election and also see if we followed the rule of law and the election laws on conducting the 2017 National Election,” Mr Gamato said in a statement.

Papua New Guinea: How traditional and social media will impact on Papua New Guinea elections | Asia Pacific Report

Social media is a new phenomenon which enables easy and instant access to voters. Papua New Guinea’s freedom of information is #51 on the Paris-based Reporters Without Border’s World Freedom Index and this study investigates traditional sources, social media and independent blogging websites to determine where a voter can locate quality information. The Papua New Guinea general election which begins next week has been impacted on by social media and provides a community platform for voters to express their opinions, and share news not found in traditional media. This has aided voters because they are able learn more about the candidates. It has also disadvantaged voters because PNG journalism does use any recognised fact-checking mediums to confirm information and this leads to an ill-informed public.

Papua New Guinea: Police intercept Soldiers with unauthorized election materials | Papua New Guinea Today

Kokopo Police in East New Britain have intercepted three PNG Soldiers who were smuggling unauthorized election materials. They are are being held in police custody in Kokopo, East New Britain Province, allegedly hired by a candidate in New Ireland Province. The three non-commissioned soldiers await the arrival of their superiors from Port Moresby to further interrogate them for their involvement with a candidate from Namatanai. A warrant officer and two corporals were with 19 men and a woman who were on Air Niugini’s PX 204 from Port Moresby to Kavieng via Kokopo about 9.30am on Sunday.

Papua New Guinea: Electoral Commission to use technology to transmit election results | Post Courier

The mobile application that the Electoral Commission will use to transmit election results will increase transparency for polling and counting processes, according to an IT expert. Electoral Commission Software Technician Henry Wakit said the application which does not rely heavily on the internet is installed in a tablet with each electoral officer for the 111 open and regional electorates in the country.

Papua New Guinea: Disabled voters in Papua fight for access to polling stations | The Jakarta Post

Hundreds of voters with disabilities in Jayapura, Papua, are hoping they can cast their votes during the concurrent regional elections slated for Feb. 15. “As Indonesian citizens with civil and political rights equal to others, we hope we can exercise our right to vote, although we have limitations” Papua-chapter Indonesia Difable Foundation (PCI) secretary Robby Yong said in Jayapura on Tuesday. He said many people with disabilities did not have wheelchairs, while in several cases, those with severe disabilities could only lie on their beds despite the fact they had the right to vote.

Papua New Guinea: Pressure grows over PNG election preparations | Radio New Zealand

Papua New Guinea’s Electoral Commission is under pressure from opposition MPs over preparation for general elections. PNG is due for its five-yearly general elections in mid-2017, with the two-week polling period expected to take place around mid to late June. But late changes to election rules and PNG’s error-ridden common roll have sparked concern, as Johnny Blades reports. The Electoral Commissioner admits that the roll he inherited, which was used in the 2012 general elections, was inflated. Patilius Gamato says Australia’s Electoral Commission has helped cleanse the roll of about 109-thousand so-called “ghost names” out of a total of more than 4 million. He hopes to print the final roll by the end of March. An intending candidate in Hela province, George Tagobe, says getting the roll right is important in his province, given the potential for unrest.