2017 General Elections

Candidates fail to provide party endorsement form at nomination

Waisa said out of 17 candidates who have so far nominated, most of them sponsored by political parties say they have provided their forms to the electoral office at Waigani.

He said these candidates will be allowed to contest the election but will be regarded as independent candidates.  

The returning officer also revealed that there has been an increase of female candidates intending to contest the 2017 National Elections compared to the 2012 elections.

In 2012, Rigo Open had only about three female candidates that contested.

PNGDF logistics for elections

Chief of Joint Operations, Colonel Ezekiel Wenzel, says there will be 2 patrol boats and 1 landing craft on hand to assist with the logistical and surveillance aspect of the operations.

He says to date, the official number of troops to be assigned to tasking is 500, with the majority to be deployed to high risk areas during the elections period.

Wenzel clarified that the core activity of the troops on ground will be the same as the 2012 general elections, which will be to provide operational and logistical support to the police.

Five candidates so far for NCD Regional seat

Nominations for NCD regional seat opened yesterday with sitting Governor Powes Parkop, nominating upon the hour of the issue of writs at 4:15pm.

Terence Hetinu, Election Manager NCD and Provincial Returning Officer confirmed four more for the regional seat today, all independent candidates.

Hetinu said nominations are coming in a little bit slow, but should pick up around the last three days before the close of nominations on Thursday, April 27.

In respect to Form 29 filled prior, Hetinu says there is an expected total of 44 candidates for the regional seat.

Gamato: Preliminary electoral roll completed

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said he is quite pleased with the tremendous effort put in by temporary electoral workers in updating the roll.

He said the preliminary roll will be used for nominations when the 2017 election writs are open on April 20.

“What this means is that the process of updating the 2017 roll (will) continue until all verification is completed right across the country,” he said.

Currently, the preliminary roll is displayed publicly in all electorates for voter verification and objection.

Gamato: National Logistics Plan is a step up for PNGEC

 This is the first time that such a plan has been launched to support the 2017 National Elections.

Clear directions from the Government were to make sure that the Elections are free and fair and that they are conducted in a cost effective manner.

The directions were a result of a number of Observer Reports in the seven elections that the country has had so far.

PNG’s diplomatic ties ‘fruitful’

Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary, William Dihm, said this success has resulted in stronger connections which will lead to positive results.

He stated this during the briefing of the diplomatic community on the 2017 General Elections and APEC 2018 yesterday.

“We’ve had a fruitful year and we (now) have stronger connection. And I think it’s a win-win situation for your side and our side by having that kind of benefit,” said Dihm.

10, 500 security personnel for election 2017

The security force will comprise of members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, the PNG Defence Force, and the Correctional Services.

Both the PNGDF and the CS will contribute 500 personnel each while the RPNG makes up the majority of the security force.

Personnel will be deployed in March to begin its intelligence gathering and surveillance programs of identified hot spot areas prone to violence during election periods. The hot spot areas covers both land and sea (piracy).

Amnesty on illegal guns in elections

This is part of a guns moratorium strategy by the Security Force arm of the Inter-Departmental Election Committee (IDEC) to restrict and prevent potential gun violence during the 2017 General Elections.

“The guns moratorium will come into effect and that’s going to be one of the strategies we will use to mitigate issues of threats confronting us,” Baki said.

Working around the clock to update rolls

PNGEC wants to ensure that it has an accurate and credible roll for the upcoming elections.

Progressive reports presented by the Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, at the National Council of Women’s workshop last week, showed projects that started in Alotau, Rigo and Kokopo District, are in their advanced stages.

Four weeks ago, K2.5 million was dispatched to provinces. This funding will be followed by another K3.2 million, to provide further support for the provinces in their updating exercises, says Gamato.

Mayor invites political parties to visit province

This was after the People’s Progress Party (PPP) Leader Ben Micah spoke in a public awareness at the Lorengau Market last week, which was packed with both the locals as well as the asylum seekers.

Lorengau town mayor Ruth Mandrakamo said she invited other parties to visit the province, like PPP, and do awareness.

Micah, who is also the Kavieng MP, said the maritime provinces of Manus and New Ireland face similar problems, especially in service delivery.