PNG locals across border can vote: Official


PAPUA New Guineans living on the Indonesian side of the PNG-Indonesian border can vote in the elections if they are registered, West Sepik border administration officer Ashley Wayne says.
“Although they are getting services like electricity, water, education and health from the Indonesian government, they can still vote for candidates contesting the Vanimo-Green electorate and also for the West Sepik regional seat,” he said.
Wayne said that 370 people from the remote Walsa local level government in the Vanimo-Green electorate were living in Yapanda in the Indonesian territory.
“They are part of the Wasengla people and can vote if their names are on the common roll,” Wayne said.
“They moved to Yapanda because they were neglected by the PNG government for a long time. Although they are living in a remote part of the border, the Indonesian government has built permanent houses for them with electricity and telecommunication facilities.
“They also have road links to Jayapura city to have access to advanced government services and business activities, although the Indonesian government still recognise them as PNG citizens.”
Wayne said that next week, the border administration officials from PNG and Indonesia will travel to Yapanda to hand over their PNG birth certificates.

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