By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
POLICE Minister William Onglo says the security preparations for the 2022 national elections need to be done well in order to avoid violence and illegal practices that occurred in past elections.
“And so in our security preparation, I want the Police Commissioner (David Manning) to make sure that we run these elections as safe as possible,” he said.
Onlgo said pre-election security operations were scheduled to start next month and his ministry and department had already received the PNG Electoral Commission’s (EC) plan of conducting polling in 6,375 wards across the 21 provinces.
“Basically we (Police and EC) have now put our plans together.
“The Election Security Planning Committee (made up of the PNG Defence Force, Police and PNG Correctional Services) have met already and are now finalising our operation plan for the 2022 national elections.”
Onglo said during a press conference that they were working with the EC on the security operations and had discovered problems and issues.
He said they were looking at reports of past elections to see where improvements could be made and what to be wary of to have the best possible security plan for the 2022 elections.
He said they needed to run the elections well in order to have minimal disruptions especially with violence and illegal and improper conduct that could lead to a rash of post-election court petitions.
“Even the court petitions increased after every election and in 2017 we had a whopping 79 petitions. Basically our Parliament was half functional.”
“If we don’t manage this 2022 election right, maybe after that election we might have the entire MPs in court.”
Onglo said court petitions hanging over elected MPs was one of the reasons that they could not perform and serve their people.
He said that court petitions were the results of poor election planning.
“When you look at the court case petition, most of it is from allegations of foul play at the courting and polling venues. So we will get governors and MPs to sign memorandum of understandings (MOUs) as part of our security planning because policing is everyone’s business.”
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK