Gamato reveals electoral rolls were not updated for this year’s election


Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has revealed that the 2017 Common Roll was not updated for the general election.
“Admittedly, there were significant issues with the electoral roll, despite the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission’s (PNGEC) focus and attention to improve the electoral systems and processes, including capacity-building at the headquarters and provinces before the 2017 national election,” he said.
“Regardless, these challenges derived in part from insufficient financial support prior to the enrolment update exercise.”
“The PNGEC will address these issues with fresh strategies but also requires sufficient government support and funding. Electoral processes must be improved and strengthened, including boundaries, electoral rolls, registration and verifications, well in advance of the 2022 national elections,” he added.
“If nothing tangible is done now to prepare for future electoral events then Papua New Guinea will continue to face more difficulties and challenges in the future and thereby endanger the vibrant democracy of the country.”
Gamato also said that they had encountered problems like vote rigging in the 2017 national election.
“Although the conduct of election was generally good and peaceful in many parts of the country, some electorates faced problems and difficulties such as election violence, threats and intimidation, election fraud, communication and    transportation difficulties.”
However, Gamato said that the result of the 2017 election was better than the 2012 election.
“Notable outcomes of this election included 95 per cent of electorates declared and their writs returned on time for the commencement of the 10th National Parliament while only five per cent went past the time.”
Gamato also noted that there was a slight decrease in the number of candidates overall and while there were more female candidates in this election compared to previous ones, none of them won a seat in the 10th parliament.