EC needs extra K17m to settle debts


THE Electoral Commission will have to budget for an extra K17 million to pay off outstanding bills from the 2012 general election and others.
Madang election manager Peter Yasaro said the figure was tabled during the election managers’ meeting in Port Moresby. The commission’s branches around the country submitted what they wanted to pay off what was owed to service providers.
He said it was supposed to be expected to budget for it this year but was moved to the 2017 budget.
Yasaro was responding to numerous queries from service providers in Madang.
He said service providers in Madang were owed more than K4 million by the electoral commission.
“I was even assaulted by one of the service providers over the outstanding bills,” he said. Yasaro said he hoped that all the outstanding amounts were paid to service providers before the 2017 general election.
More than 100 people had provided services through the hire of vehicles and boats, and accommodation.
A spokesman for the service providers in Madang John Betegam said the electoral commission owed them more than K4 million for the services they provided during the 2012 general election and the 2013 Madang by-election.
“Is Prime Minister Peter O’Neill aware of this? We are the very people who assisted to have him and other MPs got elected,” he said.
Betegam said presiding officers, counting officials and police security officers had received their outstanding allowances while they were ignored.

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