By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
IT’S confirmed – the writs for 2022 general election will be issued on April 24, to set the ball rolling for the process of electing the 111 members of the 11th Parliament.
And the biggest worry for acting Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai right now is getting the K463 million needed to update the common roll and other preparatory work.
“The writs will be issued on the April 24, 2022, and we need K463 million to prepare for the national election,” he said.
Sinai said his office had already made a submission for K70 million to the Treasury Department for the electoral roll update alone.
It is awaiting the fund.
Sinai said they had not included the cost of security operations during the election in the K463 million.
“The security operation budget will be separate,” he said.
“We have already held our first meeting with the police on the security operation plan.
“We would also like to conduct the biometric system roll for the 2022 national election.
“And so we have made a separate submission for K230 million to the National Executive Council (NEC) for approval.
“And if no biometric funds are made available on time, then we will do the normal common roll update in the provinces especially in the rural electorates.
“In urban areas, we can do the biometric roll out.”
Sinai said they planned to start the election programmes as soon as the funds became available.
Meanwhile, Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Operations Donald Yamasombi, said they needed fund to plan the election security operations due to threats of criminal activities in provinces, plus the Covid-19.
“We are concerned about the traditionally peaceful provinces like Milne Bay and Madang which are experiencing extreme violence criminal activities,” he said.
“We are also concerned with the Highlands region which traditionally is a crimes hotspot.
“We need fund to collect intelligence and plan our operations.
“(Police) need to collect and analyse information on security threats and resources in the all provinces.”
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK