Election hailed despite setbacks

National

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says there have been complications with this election but it was comparatively peaceful.
Gamato said compared to previous elections, 2017 has so far been much calmer, with much fewer outbreaks of violence.
“Any violence is regrettable. I appeal to candidates and their supports to keep the peace in the coming days as the results come in,” he said.
“As the Commonwealth observers said, the election is forecast to reflect the will of the people whatever the difficulties.”
Gamato also acknowledged comments by United States Ambassador Catherin Ebert-Grey who recognised some achievements in the election.
Ebert-Grey noted, for instance, that separate lines were created for women and persons with disability to reduce intimidation and there was good logistical planning.
“She said the Government should urgently work on improving the rolls,” Gamato said.
“We agree with that and we will review the roll urgently once the election is over.”
He said that polling was now wrapped up everywhere and counting was underway in every province apart from Gulf.
“As we have reached a milestone in the electoral process, let me share with you some of the simple facts about staging an election in PNG.
“Our logistic team organised the distribution of K1.6 million worth of individual items.
“Sensitive materials such as ballot papers, candidate posters, rolls and polling schedules, indelible ink, ballot box labels, weighing 47 tonnes were transported by the Australian Defence Force aircraft to 20 locations over six days making hundreds of journeys.”
Gamato also commended the media for its role in providing updates on the election results.

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