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.
… Two of the senior Papua New Guinea election officials apprehended by police on Tuesday in Port Moresby have been sacked. Patilias Gamato removed the two officials after a public outcry.
The NCD Elections manager Terence Hetinu, who police say was found with US$57,000 in cash and marked ballot papers, has been removed. Also removed was his assistant Rosalyn Tobagani.
The officials were, however, released from police custody without charge. But police said they were further investigating the matter of the cash, ballot papers and suspicious papers found on the electoral officials.