Observer group has a point

Letters

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill said the 2017 general election has been transparent and fair (The National July 12).
However, according to the Commonwealh Observers, the 2017 general election, is in fact, “… a work in progress”.
And I am inclined to believe the observer group as a lot of shortfalls have been experienced throughout the country during the different stages of this general election.
While most of the election discrepancies will be highlighted by the Commonwealth observer group in its final report, I want to comment on the election and the process of democracy as I see
them.
In Port Moresby, I experienced and witnessed instances of double voting, missing names on the common roll, a lack of separate queues for women and people living with disabilities and, generally, polling and counting not keeping to a strict schedule.
These discrepancies show the lack of care towards vital democratic principles like equality, participation, legitimacy, accountability and transparency.
From the start, the planning of the 2017 general election – like budget appropriation, time schedules and logistics – were well prepared but the plan did not work as well as we would have wanted it
to be because there were not enough Electoral Commission officials and public servants in the provinces to see that the programme was implemented, followed and worked.
The control mechanism in the entire election was partially invisible and that caused confusion and inefficiencies.

Mike Haro

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