Illiteracy seen as election obstacle

National

By WENDY MAGEA
THERE is a need for civic education to be made compulsory for voters and candidates in the leadup to the general elections, Pacific representative to the Commonwealth Youth Council, Christina Giwe say.
Polling would start in a week but there was still inequality in basic election education, she said.
Giwe, who was part of the Commonwealth Observer Group in Zambia last August and an active volunteer in past general elections, said there were no improvements in regards to voter education in PNG.
Giwe presented her views at a consultative meeting with delegates from the Commonwealth Observer Group in Port Moresby last Friday.
“Voter education remains a huge concern for me due to high rates of illiteracy in this country, especially among the elderly and rural population,” she said
Yanamlyn Yana, a youth volunteer with the National Youth Development Authority, said most people in rural areas would vote for an educated elite or someone with good social standing in the community and not the political parties they belonged to.
“I come from a very remote area in Papua New Guinea and educated elites stand a better chance of being voted leaders than someone endorsed by an outstanding political party,” she said.
Observers are here to see how the election goes and compile a report to assist the Government and Electoral Commission enhance the process of democracy in the country.

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