EC: Ballot papers to be destroyed

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BALLOT papers of the seven electorates that were split by the Government in May creating seven new ones will be destroyed publicly tomorrow, Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai says.
He said ballot papers of the seven electorates were delivered to Port Moresby on April 3-4 and had been locked away in a container.
“The papers will be destroyed in the presence of the media, security personnel and other key stakeholders including officials from the Australian High Commission,” he said.
Sinai said when parliament voted to create the new electorates and having them certified to be included in the General Election 2022 they had already printed the ballot papers for only 111 electorates.
“We had to request assistance from Australia again through their High Commissioner Jon Philp to cater for the increasing number of electorates,” he said.
He acknowledged Australia for reprinting the ballot papers.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work with them through the Australian Electoral Commission.”
He said the affected electorates were: Komo-Margarima in Hela, Laigaip-Porgera in Enga, South Fly in Western, Kairuku-Hiri in Central, Sohe in Northern, Wau-Bulolo in Morobe and Talasea in WNB.
“The seven newly-created electorates are: Komo-Hulia, Porgera-Paiela, Delta-Fly, Hiri-Koiari, Popondetta, Wau-Waria and Nakanai,” Sinai added
Sinai said about 1,305 ballot papers would be appropriately destroyed
He added that speculation that the ballot papers would be hijacked were untrue.

ENB praised for peaceful election period
Assistant Commissioner of Police New Guinea Islands (NGI) Command Perou N’dranou (middle) inspecting a parade during the launch of security operations for General Election 2022 (GE22) in Kokopo, East New Britrain, on Wednesday. – Picture supplied

ASSISTANT Commissioner of Police (ACP) New Guinea Islands (NGI) Command Perou N’dranou says free, fair and safe elections depend on the public behaviour.
“It’s not about us (security forces), it’s about the people,” he said.
N’dranou said he had stressed on the need for people to take personal responsibility for their actions and the decisions they made and this would go a long way to ensuring a freer, fairer and safer election.
“People must behave.
For NGI it’s a good sign for us as we are seeing a peaceful election process. We are just here to ensure that they continue to uphold and respect the election process,” N’dranou said at the launch of security operations for General Election 2022 (GE22) in Kokopo on Wednesday.
He said the country had already experienced violence, chaos and disruptions in some electorates and it was now time for voters to take stock of their actions and behave responsibly.
He told The National that NGI, and especially ENB had shown a good example in terms of respecting the electoral process.

Former MP aims to win back trust of people in Namatanai

FORMER Namatanai MP Byron Chan says he is recontesting the seat under the People’s Progress Party (PPP) he held for three consecutive terms to earn back the trust of the people.
Chan, the eldest son of New Ireland Governor and former Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan, said the people had asked him to stand to take back their land.
“The people of Namatanai want their land which was taken from them in the last five years, returned,” he said.
“We want to take back the land belonging to the people that was taken from them.”
Chan, who was Namatanai MP for three terms (2002-07; 2007-12; 2012-17), said the people wanted to participate in making Namatanai a better place.
“Instead of the hate and animosity that’s being created in Namatanai, we need a new government and new prime minister to clean the system.”

Commissioner explains payment issue for GE17

THE PNG Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai says any member of the police force involved in any election is paid by the Royal Papua New Guinean Constabulary (RPNGC) and not the Electoral Commission.
He said this in his response to concerns raised by more than 100 members of the East Sepik Auxiliary Police engaged in General Election 2017 (GE17).
Sinai told The National that any query on outstanding payments or allowances that were election related should be raised with the police department.
“The Electoral Commission cannot respond to that when police have their own separate funding for elections,” he said.
Sinai clarified that since police had their separate funding for elections, they looked after their own police personnel.
Meanwhile, Sinai advised that all allowances owed to the data processing officers around the country would be paid.
He said he had not been made aware of any complaints regarding outstanding allowances for officers but confirmed that payments had been made.
“Sorting out payments for these officers is not easy,” he said.
Sinai said a good number of them did not have existing bank accounts which made it challenging for their electoral offices at the provincial level to sort their allowances on time.
The electoral commissioner said that was something that he would follow up with all electoral offices in the country to ensure that all data processing officers who had helped in the updating of the common roll were paid.