K400mil needed for election: PM

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THE Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission needs K400 million to run next year’s National General Election in terms of having a free, fair and safe event, Prime Minister James Marape says.
“Having a free, fair and safe election is better than thinking of the cost involved in running it,” he said.
“So we need to help him (acting electoral commissioner Simon Sinai) with the required funding that is needed to run the 2022 National Elections.”
Marape said this yesterday in Parliament after Sinai made a presentation on preparations for the 2022 elections.
“It might be expensive, but, there is no greater activity in the life of the Parliament than to vote for leaders,” he said.
“If it means putting extra funding into covering the entire election process, we are willing to assist the Electoral Commission so that the safety of the election can be covered.
“If we run out of time and space to reserve seats in Parliament for women in 2022 elections, then we will try to create a fair environment for women who are able to contest and also able to express freely without fear or favour at the ballot
Marape said for all party leaders and MPs, the greatest gift they could give to the people next year was the opportunity to exercise their Constitutional rights at the ballot booth.
“It’s good to see them (voters) pick up the ballot paper and mark their vote,” he sad.
Marape said it was also crucial to have a Coronavirus (Covid-19) safe, corruption free election.
He said much worked remained to update all common rolls to help ensure the best possible outcomes.