The National, Monday July 9th, 2012
By CLEMENT KAUPA
AN election observer has highlighted irregularities in polling in the Highlands region.
Yvonne Ngutlick, the communications officer for Transparency International, recently returned from the highlands and other parts of the country.
She said while the national election was conducted in an orderly manner in most parts of the Southern, Mamose, and New Guinea islands region, she was not too impressed with events in the highlands.
According to her, there was a high incidence of voter irregularities, some of which included illegal voting practices where the electoral roll was discarded and ballot papers were filled in by candidate’s supporters.
“Added to this, security personnel behaved too oblivious to the illegal practices,” Ngutlick said.
“PNG has a long way to go to convince people that basic honesty is an essential part of free, fair and safe elections.
“Real democracy involves embracing basic principles, which includes respect for the rights of others and which rejects cheating as an unaccepted tactic to gain victory.”
TIPNG is among three international observer teams – the Commonwealth Secretariat, East West Center and National Democratic Institute – viewing the national election.