By LUKE KAMA
WINNING an election in a democracy through cheating is tantamount to fraud, according the Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker.
Barker was commenting on reports of discrepancies in the electoral roll, polling and counting throughout the country.
“A few candidates and their supporters and parties seem to think that winning elections is the mark of a true leader and try to do so by whatever means — legal or illegal,” he said.
“You may be a mastermind at electoral fraud, even paid off some officials or large numbers of eligible and ineligible voters to support you, even multiple times, or to fix the rolls, add or remove ballot papers. But no, if you cheated, then you’re not the genuine winner or MP-elect.
“You are a winning cheat perhaps, but not an election winner. Just the same as if you took steroids to win a race, or pushed another competitor off the track.”
Barker said some people could get away with cheating and not be ousted in a Court of Disputed Returns.
“But if it was by denying genuine voters, adult men and women, their chance to cast their own votes, by intimidation, block-voting, rigging of ballot boxes or the roll, then you are still nothing, even if you get declared,” he said.
Barker said if candidates, supporters, parties and voters were not aware of that, and believed that winning by any means was the ultimate test, then PNG had a lot of work ahead.
By LUKE KAMA