Roll flop derails elections

National

THE 2017 general election is the “worst ever” because of problems with the electoral roll, Registrar of Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu says.
Gelu, a longtime observer of the election process in Papua New Guinea, said yesterday that this was because people had been denied their democratic right to vote.
“That’s the reason why I’m saying that this is the worst election,” he said.
“Worst election in the sense that when we talk about democracy, democracy for what?
“Our democracy has been totally derailed — the right of the people.
“What can we do about that?
“The rights of the people are enshrined in our Constitution, the right to choose.
“People have not been given the right to choose.
“I was in New Ireland and this old man, 74 years old, who has been voting for donkey’s years, was crying.
“He was not happy at all because his wife voted and not him.”
Gelu said someone had to take responsibility for the roll, and the fault was with the commission, as well as the people, for not registering.
“The people must take ownership of this,” he said. “It’s their business to make the election a success.”
Gelu said as soon as the election was over, the commission had to start work on updating the roll.
“They have to start in 2018,” he said. “The earlier the better.”

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