India assisting with electoral training


INDIA will assist Papua New Guinea with electoral training and technologies ahead of the 2022 General Election says Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru.
He made this announcement on Tuesday in New Delhi after meeting with the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sunil Arora.
Maru expressed PNG Government’s interest to replicate what India has in terms of use of technology, systems and processes in the conduct of its national elections.
He said Election Commission of India (ECI) manages a massive voter population of over 850 million voters.
With the use of innovative technologies such as the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), India goes to the polls and impressively has its election results delivered within 2-3 days.
Maru said this is the type of technology, system and process PNG is looking for, given the track record of millions of kina spent on conducting elections in PNG, the complaints of missing ballot papers and countless cases presented before the Court of Disputed Returns.
The visit to India’s Election Commission follows an initial meeting in December of 2017 between PNG’s Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato and the then Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri A.K. Joti.
India has signed memorandum of understandings with 25 other countries assisting them to conduct their elections.
The most recent successful outcome of this partnership was that of Namibia where the elections were conducted without any issues.
Chief Election Commissioner Arora said India is ready and able to assist PNG.
ECI operates an electoral training institute, Indian Institute of Democracy and Election
Management, which PNGEC can utilise by either sending technical expertise to PNG or PNGEC sending officers to India for training.
The way forward is to have a MoU in place between PNGEC and ECI to address the electoral issues and improve the delivery of election services in PNG.