Papua New Guinea

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

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. Read More

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. Read More

Papua New Guinea: Disqualified Papua Candidates Take Election Commission to Court | The Jakarta Globe

Two potential candidates for Papua’s gubernatorial elections have reported the poll commission to the state administrative court, after they were disqualified by the Papua General Elections Commission on Monday. The elections commission, known as the KPU, declared that the running pair, Barnabas Suebo and John Tabo, had not passed the verification phase to run for the governor position. “On Friday, we registered our lawsuit against the Papua province KPU,” said Mathias Rafra, a spokesman for John. Read More

Papua New Guinea: One seat, two winners in PNG election | ABC Radio Australia

The deadline for the return of writs in PNG’s elections has been extended, with counting still progressing. Last week PNG’s Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen set the deadline of today Wednesday for all the writs to be returned. But he says that’s now unlikely, with two Highlands provinces starting voting late, and several parts of the country still tallying results. “I will now assess the counting in those provinces that are still ongoing, like the Eastern Highlands, Simbu, Jiwaka, Western Highlands, parts of Southern Highlands, and the Milne Bay province, the Western and Gulf provinces,” he said. “Then I will advise the governor general with the appropriate time frame.” Read More

Papua New Guinea: Cannibal killers delay Papua New Guinea poll | Telegraph

The cult is accused of killing and eating seven people — five men and two women – whom they say practiced black magic in remote jungle territory around the coastal town of Madang. Police say they have arrested twenty-nine members, including a 13-year-old boy, but the leader, a local councillor, remain at large. The cult began as an attempt to curb extortion by self-proclaimed sorcerers who were demanding money from sick people. But the anti-witchcraft activists began to believe they had special powers to detect sorcerers. ”Sorcery was getting out of hand in the villages,” a local political activist told The Sydney Morning Herald. ”It used to be a good thing, but now it’s turned into a kind of cult. They killed [the first victim] on the roadside. They cut out his heart, they cut out his brains they drank his blood.” Read More

Papua New Guinea: Delays and allegations of fraud in Papua New Guinea elections | ABC Radio Australia

Voters in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, go to the polls today in the national election which began in a volatile part of the Highlands at the weekend. Two of the most recognisable names in PNG politics are not on the ballot papers in the electorates they’ve held for many years: Australian born Dame Carol Kidu and former PNG Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, who are both retiring this year. The head of the Commonwealth election observer group in Papua New Guinea says election-related problems could lead to voter frustration. There have been reports of delays in opening polling stations, ballot boxes being destroyed and others being hijacked and stuffed with completed ballot papers. Read More

Papua New Guinea: Polls may end Papua New Guinea's tale of two prime ministers | Reuters

Papua New Guinea goes to the polls on Saturday with almost 3,500 candidates battling for just over a hundred parliamentary seats and control of what will be an unprecedented boom in funds as projects to develop natural resources start coming on stream. Voters hope the two-week-long election will end a prolonged political crisis which has left the South Pacific archipelago with two competing prime ministers for much of the past year after parliament backed Peter O’Neill, defying the courts which supported elder statesman Michael Somare. Analysts say it is impossible to predict a winner in a country where more than half of sitting lawmakers lose their seats at each election and where power goes to the leader who can cobble a coalition in post-election negotiations. “There are really two elections,” Australian National University Papua New Guinea specialist Sinclair Dinnen told Reuters. “The first is where the people vote. Then after the elections, we see the process of coalition formulation.” Adding to the uncertainty are the record number of 3,435 candidates from 46 political parties, all vying for just 111 seats in parliament. Read More

Papua New Guinea: Australian help for Papua New Guinea election 'unprecedented' | ABC Radio Australia

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. Read More

Papua New Guinea: PNG Braces For Violent Elections | Epoch Times

Australian and New Zealand troops have been sent to Papua New Guinea as the country prepares for volatile general elections. Both countries have stated they are merely assisting the elections, but reports from Post Moresby suggest they are preparing in the event of a breakdown in social order. “Australian troops are holed up in hotels around Port Moresby Airport,” Denis Reinhardt a former adviser to the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government, said in an email. “In any emergency, the two sites, which would be secured in POM (Port Moresby) would be the Australian High Commission and Jacksons Airport, for evacuations.” Read More

Papua New Guinea: PNG calls state of emergency in capital | Canberra Times

Papua New Guinea MPs have voted to declare a state of emergency in the nation’s capital after rogue police officers surrounded Parliament House. If adopted, the emergency rule would give increased powers to PNG’s police commissioner to arrest and detain. The leader of government business, Moses Maladina, put the motion yesterday at a special sitting of Parliament and it is expected to come into force today. The government also voted to reject the decision of three Supreme Court judges to reinstate Sir Michael Somare as the nation’s leader. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said cabinet would meet last night to prepare advice for Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio, who must approve the state of emergency. Mr O’Neill said the state of emergency would be extended to trouble spots such as the Southern Highlands and Hela province, site of a multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas project. Read More