Olga awants fair election

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 31st January 2012

PUBLIC servants and electoral officials in Western Highlands and Jiwaka have been accused of hijacking the common roll update in the provinces.
Governor Tom Olga urged public servants and electoral officials to stop their illegal activities and come up with a realistic common roll update.
He said aspiring candidates, including sitting MPs, knew exactly how many people lived in each rest house.
He said there was no way officials engaged in the common roll update would trick people into voting for those desperate to get into parliament.
Olga said as a politician he could not tell officials engaged in the common roll update what to do.
He said the officers knew their job well but must do it honestly and allow a level playing field for intending and sitting MPs.
He said inflating the number of voters on the common roll in some areas and cutting the number of eligible voters in others was not good.
“This is injustice for other candidates and people,” Olga said.
He said it was not a good practice to include “all sort of names and give it to the Electoral Commission to fix”.
He said Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen and his officers tried their best to come up with clean common rolls for the election.
He said it was the people on the ground who were creating problems by not submitting updated lists to the commission on time.
He expressed concern that the new election manager appointed for the province was not around to brief him, the provincial executive council and even provincial administrator Malcolm Culligan about election preparations.
Olga said the provincial government allocated K1 million for the election in this year’s budget to help the Electoral Commission ensure a fair and free election.
He said he did not want to see a failed election in the two provinces.