Patilias Gamato

Blogger’s lawyer told to file motion

This notice of motion will be to ask the court to set aside the restraining orders that were taken out against Namorong by the Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

Commissioner Gamato on July 12th obtained restraining orders from the Waigani National Court, to stop Namarong, his servants and agents from further publishing defamatory remarks on Facebook and Twitter, against him.

The specific remarks were not stated in the notice of motion moved last week, but his lawyer told Loop PNG after court that the remarks associated Commissioner Gamato to a fruit.

Gamato calls for calm

He said this following numerous reports of destruction of property, violence, and intimidation.

The most recent incident over the weekend resulted in the deaths of two police officers after clashes in Wabag between supporters of candidates contesting the Kandep Open Seat.

Gamato appealed to supporters saying there is only one winner and the process has to be respected.

EC highlights ‘steady progress’ with payments

Commissioner Patilias Gamato said the human resource team has processed payments for 65 of the 89 districts so far and has established an agreement with Bank South Pacific to give priority to these payments.

He said in a statement that as districts complete their counts and verify their counting officials, these payments are also being made.

“The BSP bank checks each batch of payments as they are received to check that bank account details are correct and that accounts are active.

Gamato: There is no media ban

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said this when responding to the reported media ban at the NCD counting venue on Wednesday, following the arrest of NCD Election Manager Alwyn Jimmy on Monday night.

“Media is a very important stakeholder in the 2017 National Election because the media provides independent scrutiny of the election process to ensure that the whole process is transparent, impartial and has integrity,” he said in a statement.

​Counting of boxes allowed despite video evidence

Gamato in a media conference yesterday afternoon in Port Moresby said only one of the six ballot boxes, which have allegations of foul play raised, will be put aside during the election counting.  

“According to observations by the State Legal Team for Jiwaka, for the first six disputed ballot boxes, there is some form of evidence in the form of amateur video footage for only one ballot box, which is for Kendu 1 polling place.

“The boxes from these polling venues of Bolba 1, Bolba 2, Tolu 1, Tolu 2, and Kendu 2 will be counted

VIDEO: "Only one box will be set aside"

In a media conference this afternoon he announced that only one of the ballot boxes will be put aside, that box is from Kendu 1.

This comes after a state legal team for Jiwaka observed that video evidence only showed vote rigging for Kendu 1 and not the other five disputed ballot boxes.

 

Meredith Kuusa with more 

Gamato receives writs for Ialibu-Pangia and Koroba-Kopiago

Gamato confirmed that, these brings a total of four writs returned so far following declarations in the during this election.   

A total of 10 Open Seats throughout the country has already been declared so far, whilst other election writs now with the Electoral Commissioner are from Tari – Pori and Moresby South electorates.

Gamato after receiving the writs congratulated Ialibu – Pangia fourth team MP, Peter O’Neill and returning Koroba – Kopiago declared winner, Petrus Thomas.

“Election is a big race, you both are winners.

Gamato: Writs, tally sheets will be made available

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said this when granting a request made by the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia during the two-day judges’ workshop on election petition.

Sir Salamo made a request to Commissioner Gamato to provide those documents to the Court registry from all the electorates for their records in preparation for the upcoming election petitions.

“We will make it available this election,” Gamato told the judges.

The request was made after lawyers gave a perspective of election petitions during the workshop.

Gamato welcomes US envoy’s comments

He said this following a TV interview in which the Ambassador commended the Electoral Commission.

Ebert-Grey said there was less violence, there was good logistical planning, and she noted the initiation of separate lines for women and persons living with disability.

She also urged the Government to urgently work on improving the electoral roll – a year around process - and said the United States has had similar problems.

Gamato said that a review of the roll will be done immediately after the elections.

Gamato refutes bias claims

The comments were made by incumbent Member for Sinesine-Yongomugl, Kerenga Kua, following the declaration of PNC candidates, Jame Marape (Tari-Pori), and Justin Tkatchenko (Moresby South) recently.

Gamato said the statement made by Kua in one of the dailies was incorrect and wanted to rectify any misconceptions.

“In some of my earlier press statement, I said if electorates that have completed their polling, they can allow for two to three days for preparations and go straight into counting.