Election flawed to an unforgivable extent: Report


THE 2017 National General Elections were “flawed to an unforgivable extent” according to a published report.
Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) chairman Lawrence Stephens said the nation had allowed far too many of its people to be robbed of their basic rights during the election.
According to a TIPNG observation report for the 10th National Parliament Elections 2017, many candidates were observed with behaviours contradicting the code of conduct.
The report also stated that voters were not able to vote as their ballot papers were used by other persons or groups without their permission; many instances of threats and intimidation and vote buying was observed to have been common place during the elections.
Stephens said that PNG needed to stop making excusing for failing to honour its own Constitution and laws.
“This report highlights another set of serious failures but it also draws a line in the sand, marking the point at which we refuse to allow cynical, criminally inclined individuals and groups to drag us further into submission to unacceptable levels of incompetency and criminality,” he said.
TIPNG provided the largest number of elections observers, 313, comprised of TIPNG members, students, educators, members of community-based organisations, women’s groups, youth groups, faith-based organisations and other active citizens.
TIPNG also collected information from public observation via the TIPNG toll free lines during the elections.
The report also recommended that law enforcement agencies needed to create an express way for dealing with violations of election laws during the elections.