Duma takes Wingti to task

National

HAGEN MP William Duma says it is “unbecoming and hypocritical” of Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti to publically imply that the electoral commissioner is a person who can be easily influenced by politicians.
He said this yesterday in response to a statement by Wingti accusing the electoral commissioner of taking sides with politicians.
“It is unbecoming and hypocritical of Governor Wingti, a former prime minister, to publically imply that the chief electoral commissioner, who is a constitutional office holder, is a person who can be easily influenced by politicians,” Duma said.
“If Governor Wingti were genuine, he should have personally seen the chief electoral commissioner and expressed his concerns instead of publically going to the press.”
Duma, who is the Public Enterprises and State Investment Minister, said Wingti was being “hypocritical and is conveniently forgetting the fact that during the 2013 LLG elections, he established a Western Highlands provincial election steering committee, comprising – with the exception of three members – of his advisers and staff”.
“Wingti deliberately excluded the district administrators of Dei Open, Hagen Open, Mul-Baiyer Open, and TambulNebilyer Open from the membership of the committee,” he said.
“As a result of incompetent management, the LLG elections were declared a failure by the then chief electoral commissioner.
“The current Western Highlands provincial election steering committee does not include the district administrators for each of the four open electorates and – with the exception of three members – is dominated by Wingti’s nominees.
“This is basically the same committee that failed to manage the LLG elections, which were consequently declared a failure by the then chief electoral commissioner.
“Instead of being hypocritical, Wingti should allow transparency in the membership of the provincial election steering committee he has set up, relook its membership and allow neutral public servants like the district administrators from the four open electorates to become members of the committee, who will then competently and fairly help the electoral commission.
“The current committee must be abolished and the new one should comprise the provincial administrator , the four district administrators, the provincial police commander, the commander of CIS and chaired by the provincial election manager.”
“I urge Wingti to stop being hypocritical and allow transparency to prevail in the selection of election officials and not to publicly bring the Office of the Electoral Commissioner and the commission into disrepute.”

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