Nicknames not allowed in upcoming elections, Gamato says

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THE issue of nicknames being used to register and nominate for the ward council elections has raised questions about how well polling officials are informed about their jobs, says Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, pictured.
He said returning officers and their assistants had been trained by the Electoral Commission and they knew the process and channels in conducting the elections.
This came to light during this year’s ward elections in Morobe. From reports, it has been practised over past elections with the EC officials knowingly letting candidates register under nicknames.
Gamato said improper naming of candidates only served to confuse commission officers and voters.
“Elections are not something that people should make a mockery out of by using nicknames. That is unacceptable,” Gamato said.
“The eligibility criteria is well documented in our training manuals and nomination forms. ROs and AROs should use that criteria to accept nominations,” he said.
Morobe provincial election manager Simon Soheke, when asked about ROs and AROs knowingly accepting nicknames for registration, said candidates were supposed to use names as recorded on electoral rolls.
Gamato said he had directed Soheke to reject candidates using names other than the ones they had registered under in the electoral roll.
“We are not going to tolerate abuse of process. We will remove names that are not on the electoral roll,” Gamato said.

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