By Daniel Kumbon Jnr
CANDIDATES in Enga’s Wabag have petitioned the Electoral Commission (EC) demanding that it should reinstate the district returning officer of Wabag electorate Ignas Nembo within three days.
Enga election manager Anton Iamu, who received the petition from the candidates in Wabag yesterday, said he did not have the power to appoint, swap or change returning officers but could only make recommendations.
“The decision was from the higher boss (Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai) and he did not have to make a sudden decision today yet he promised the candidates he will let them know of the decision that will be handed down from his boss in Port Moresby,” Iamu said.
Wabag candidate Samuel Philip Kenai, who spoke on behalf of other Wabag candidates, said that there have been changes in some assistant returning officers of districts of Enga and this was no rocket science.
“George Puio, the appointed returning officer of Laiagam district, has been changed and Wabag can also change its assistant returning officer Ignas Nembo by the Electoral Commission,” he said.
He further elaborated that: “This issue was supposed to have been addressed when they staged the first peaceful protest on April 10 just when the writs were issued.
“If the Electoral Commission truly wants to see a free, fair and safe election in the country, such decisions cannot be a hiccup to the office.”
Enga police commander Chief Superintendent George Kakas assured the candidates and their supporters that they will make known the decision handed down by the Electoral Commissioner.
Kakas also said that they will receive the ballot papers tomorrow.
Kapavore keen to continue service
INCUMBENT Pomio MP Elias Kapavore is keen on continuing development in his district if given another opportunity by his people in the General Election 2022 (GE22).
Kapavore was first elected to the 9th Parliament in a by-election in May 2015 following the dismissal of then-member Paul Tiensten.
He was re-elected to the 10th Parliament for the Pomio Open electorate as People’s National Congress (PNC) Party candidate in GE17.
Kapavore is contesting for the third time for the Pomio seat under PNC.
He told The National that Pomio had been rated as the most improved district in the country which was an indication of the efforts and commitment under his leadership to create a change of mindset.
He said this formed the basis of good governance and prudent management, support to economic empowerment and integral human development, which were their goals for the next five years.
“I am generally satisfied with Pomio DDA performance in the past seven years under my tenure in Parliament.
Highlands will see over 1,000 soldiers in GE22
MORE than 1,000 soldiers will be deployed to the Highlands region and other areas sanctioned by the Joint Operations to support police during General Election 2022 (GE22).
Staff operations’ Col Mark Kellerton said almost half of the troops had been deployed.
“Our main effort into the GE22 would be mainly in all Highlands provinces, Madang, Manus, Rabaul, Kimbe, Alotau and Northern,” he said.
Kellerton said about 500 soldiers had been sanctioned in border areas like East and West Sepik, Western and Morobe.
Director of police media Supt Dominic Kakas on behalf of Police Commissioner David Manning, said police, PNGDF and Correctional Services as the Quick Response Force have been deployed to the Highlands and Mamose.
Kakas said the Niugini Islands and Southern deployment were supported by the special services divisions.
“The deployment should be completed by the end of next week in preparation for the polling period” he said.
Kellerton said provinces that required additional support from the PNGDF should go through their provincial police commanders.
“There have been requests from provinces but they have to be assured that the logistics, funding and other costs were on the province, PNGDF will only provide the soldiers,” he said.
Command centre to be used as coordinating centre: Official
By HELEN TARAWA
THE command centre at Morauta Haus will now become the coordinating centre for the joint security operations for General Election 2022 (GE22), an official says.
Correctional Services assistant commissioner, Simon Lakeng made the announcement on FM100 Talkback Show yesterday.
Lakeng, who is also in-charge of the Correctional Services operations for GE22, said it was the first time that the command centre would be utilised for coordinating and monitoring the security operations of GE22 throughout the country.
“We have a command centre based at the Morauta Haus in Waigani where all the command will be sent out to all security operations in respective areas,” he said.
“It will be the coordination centre and will house officials from the security forces, PNG Electoral Commission, relevant government agencies and partners.
“It’s a first of its kind for this command centre, especially coordinating the GE22 operations.
“It will be in operation seven days a week for the duration of the election.”
Lakeng said the command centre was being established in consultation with the Inter-Departmental Election Committee (IDEC).