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
Articles about voting issues in the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
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”.
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”.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.