Potape hails success of 2007 election

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011

THE 2007 national election was a success despite predictions of a failed election, a report tabled by the Minister for State assisting the Prime Minister, Francis Potape said.
Potape said in his report that 2,759 candidates contested for the 20 provincial and 89 open electorates.
Only about 100, or 4% of the total, were women candidates and only one, Dame Carol Kidu, was re-elected to parliament.
He said of the 109 seats, there were no failed elections unlike in the past and that the late return of the writs was largely caused by bad weather.
Potape said the success of the election was well supported by a massive public awareness programme in which the media outlets were used intensely to educate the public.
He said civil society organisations were engaged widely and provided the face-to-face meetings with the grassroots people through mock elections and drama groups and an effective electoral message was delivered.
Potape said the same method and strategy would be used in next year’s national election.
He said for the 2007 poll, more than one million ghost names had to be removed from the previous roll.
Potape said if the Electoral Commission was not funded well and in advance, “then it is likely that the necessary changes will not be done in time for the elections”.
He said K76 million was needed for the 2011 estimate but it was appropriated only K25 million, “which means that the development of the electronic counting system and the electronic identification systems are not likely to eventuate”.
Potape said the Electoral Boundaries Commission review would be completed this year with the commission members due to meet next month.
He said the 2012 election was expected to cost around K140 million.
With elections eight months away, the issue of writs would be May 4, nomination would close on May 11, polling would start on June 30 and end on July 6 and the return of writs on July 27.