Friday, 16 June 2017

"Will 2017 National General Election be the worst in PNG's history?" writes Bryan Kramer


ONE week left before some 4 million people around country will cast their votes however Electoral Commission is yet to release the Candidates Posters or the updated Common Roll.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has:

- failed to carry out a proper update of the roll with many people not registered due the decision to limit the forms 11 in each ward.
- failed to conduct an objection period affording the public the opportunity to confirm their names properly registered on the common roll.

In addition to his failures he has made a number of controversial decision to:
- print the ballot-papers overseas claiming it was cheaper than the Government's own printing office.
- update of the common roll has resulted in reduction in the number of voters on the roll.
- back flipped on his own statement that intending candidates who have a criminal conviction would be disqualified from contesting.
- issue confusing statements about 1 day polling yet gazetted polling schedules confirming 14 day polling.

The Elector Commission is a Constitutional Office in that is established by the highest law in the land (Constitution) and not answerable to anyone - not even the Prime Minister. It is the function of the Government to only fund the Electoral Commission and allow him to conduct the election free of political influence.

O'Neill Government has instead restricted funds and set up a special committee headed by O'Neill own Chief of Staff / Chief Secretary Issac Lupari.

The same Issac Lupari that was implicated in the 2009 Finance Commission of Inquiry who recommended he be criminally prosecuted for allegedly making false claims.

Lupari has also been a key person behind O'Neill's defence team preventing his arrest, appearing at all his court hearings.

So it comes as no surprise every time the Electoral Commissioner appears in the media we see O'Neill right hand man Issac Lupari sitting beside him.

So can PNG trust the Electoral Commissioner to uphold the Constitution and conduct a free and fair election or is he a mere puppet to O'Neill Government and appointed by O'Neill to do his bidding in allowing the election to be rigged?

Captions for pictures below:

  • Top left - Isaac Lupari coming out of the courthouse following O'Neill Government decision to terminate Task Force Sweep . 
  • Top right - Lupari leaving District Court after failing to obtain stay order against warrant of arrest against O'Neill in the District Court. 
  • Middle & Bottom - Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato at press conference run by Isaac Lupari

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