Review electoral process: NRI

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THE new government elected after General Election 2022 (GE22) needs to review the electoral process and government administration systems to avoid violence and corrupt practices during future elections, a researcher says.
National Research Institute (NRI) research fellow Dr Thomas Webster said this election was worse than the last two elections in 2012 and 2017.
“We have come to a stage where if we do not fix the electoral system, and there is groundswell of thinking and voices raised from all over the community nationwide, the next election in 2027 would be worse than the current one,” he said.
“It will be worse and there will be chaos everywhere because I don’t think the PNG Defence Force, police and other security forces would be able to control and contain the kind of violence that can erupt.”
Webster was commenting on the lack of democracy in the election process in a talkback show on the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) radio in Port Moresby yesterday.
Webster alleged the government administration system including electoral process over the years had somehow turned to be fraud.
He said there was also fraud in current government administrative systems in the provision of initiatives for people to become Members of Parliament.
“Not only initiatives with millions of Kina for the parliamentarians to access, but there are also the communities where their livelihoods are dependent on the electoral process,” he said.
Webster said however, people needed those funds to access education, roads, health services and other government services.
He said if the community elected a person, she or he was liable to deliver the goods and services.
“We not only have the fraud electoral process but also fraud administrative and government systems that support the corrupt electoral process,” he said.
“All systems are fraud and corrupted and backed by the government administrative systems.”
Webster said the government and political leaders elected through this fraud process would be the leaders, who would take carriage for the next five years, so the common roll, identification and polling systems needed to be fixed and improved along with a better system.

Polling for Morobe complete

NINE open seats in Morobe have completed their polling since early last week and are into counting while Finschhafen completed its polling on Tuesday, says election manager Simon Soheke.
“While Lae Open seat was declared last Sunday, the other seven open seats are still undergoing the final stages of counting,” he said.
Kabwum and Markham ceased counting as of last weekend after ballot boxes and ballot papers were destroyed.
They are now waiting for further advice from the the Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai.
Soheke said for the other seven districts, Bulolo counting was suspended for the last two days and it was expected to resume yesterday while Finschhafen had completed its polling on Tuesday and might start counting tomorrow.
Huon Gulf had completed its counting, elimination started yesterday and a declaration was expected while Menyamya had gone into the quality check and elimination process.
Soheke said Nawaeb had gone into the elimination process, Tewai-Siassi was to start counting by the end of the week and Wau-Waria was to start counting by today. We are now waiting for all regional boxes to be returned to Lae where final processes of the counting would be done and a leader would be declared for the provincial seat,” he said.

NGI urged to maintain peace

Asst Comm/ACP for New Guinea Islands Perou N’dranou (third left) with members of the security personnel at a security briefing at the Kokopo police station yesterday. – Picture supplied.

THE Asst Comm/ACP for New Guinea Islands Perou N’dranou has called on the people in the region to continue maintaining peace until the end of all election processes.
N’dranou said that there was no election-related violence reported in the region so far and called on the people to maintain the same spirit throughout counting and the declaration period.
“I am appealing to candidates to continue maintaining control over their supporters, especially during and after counting,” he said.
N’dranou said he made the appeal following security risk assessments and reports that there might be confrontations between candidates supporters after declarations were made.
“We have done well so far, and I don’t want to be like the other regions that have reported a lot of election related mayhem and violence. “So I call on the people, the candidates and their supporters to please take ownership of this election and to ensure that no problem arises during counting and declaration,” he said.
N’dranou also thanked the people and candidates and reminded them that as leaders, they should always do what’s right and best for their people.
“Let’s all work together to deliver a safe, fair and free election in the region,” he said.
N’dranou said that there would be one winning candidate at the end of the election and the other candidates must not feel like it was the end of their political career.
“They must continue to lead as leaders and ensure that their supporters behave despite whoever wins,” he said.

Chairman disappointed over closure of office

MANUS high and secondary school chairman Alois Kinol is disappointed over seeing no education officers in office at the resumption of classes yesterday.
Kinol was frustrated after he found out yesterday that the education office doors were still locked.
“You talk about teachers and students resuming classes on time and yet you are not in the office on time to answer to teachers’ queries, this is unacceptable,” he said.
Kinol, who is also the principal of Manus Secondary School, said that they had started formal classes on yesterday because Monday and Tuesday were used for student registration and parents and citizens meetings.
He said no election activities had disrupted classes and a total of 32 teachers would be in classes for full lessons.
He said grade 12 students would be receiving their booklets next Monday for their final written expressions exams.
He said teachers were doing their best to prepare students with mock exams and other revision exercises.
Kinol said students had already exercised their constitutional rights by voting a leader of their choice and they must return to classes and continue their education.
“Election is an event that will come and go, your education is priority and you must attend classes as it is a process of your life,” he said.