Gamato warns polling officials


ELECTORAL Commissioner Patilias Gamato says he will be closely monitoring the conduct of poll officials during next year’s general election.
He advised them to be cost-effective and be wary of bribery and corrupt practices.
“Under my watch, I want to ensure that we all change our attitude, our approach and our ways of doing election business and manage costs of delivering the elections in a reasonable and effective way,” he said.
“I, therefore, charge election managers and assistant election managers to manage and deliver the elections in a more cost-effective manner. Extravagance or excessive costs are things of the past.”
Gamato warned that there had been cases of election fraud, violence and intimidation which resulted in conflicts, failed elections and election petitions.
He warned election officials to stay away from illegal practices such as bribery and corruption because anyone caught would be referred to the police immediately.
The Electoral Commission recorded a saving of K1.8 million during the South Bougainville by-election and K800,000 in the Samarai-Murua by-election.
Gamato said of the K400 million allocated in the 2017 budget, K121 million was for police security operations and K279 million for election operations. K60 million will be used to settle outstanding bills from the 2012 national election and 2013 LLG elections – K43 million for outstanding legal fees and K17 million for service providers in the 2017 general elections.

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