By HELEN TARAWA
FORMER Prime Minister and current New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan says Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai should be held accountable for depriving the rights of hundreds of people to cast their votes.
Sir Julius was responding to reports of people being disallowed to take part in the General Election 2022 because their names were not in the common roll.
“Coordinators and implementers were incompetent, and due to the constant changes, the system has confused people and the common roll had been outdated,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Sinai were unsuccessful.
Sir Julius said the biggest concern was that the common roll had not been updated for years.
He and Lady Stella cast their votes on Monday at the Danmarik Primary School polling station in Matalai, Namatanai.
“New Ireland has always been a peaceful province and the people are law-abiding citizens,” he said.
Speaking of candidate numbers, Sir Julius said his People’s Progress Party remained strong.
“It’s tough when you don’t have resources.
“Many came but only a few will be chosen,” Sir Julius said.
3-day polling not enough, says official
By YVONNE KAMBIBEL
THE three days allocated for polling in some rural areas are not enough as some election officials have to walk long distances to reach remote polling stations, an official says.
Drekikier local level government assistant Returning Officer Beno Patrick told The National that some polling teams had to walk ton remote areas where there were no roads.
“Polling began on Monday but there are so many issues delaying the polling process,” he said.
Patrick said they needed more time to reach these remote areas which could only be accessed by foot in the district.
He said they were facing three major issues.
“Logistical support is very poor, ballot papers being brought to the polling sites have not been calculated according to the total voting populations, and many eligible voters do not have names in the electoral rolls,” he said.
“So many voters in the Drekikier LLG, the largest in the electorate, have raised their concerns about the electoral rolls.”
Patrick also pointed out that many voters had to walk long distances to reach the polling stations, only to find out that their names were missing.
“Out of frustration, these angry voters want to pick a fight with the polling teams.
“But there was nothing the polling team could do.
“There was also insufficient police officers at the polling station.”
He said polling officials sympathised with the people who had been denied their constitutional right to elect a leader of their choice.
Election manager vows organised polling, counting in capital
By HELEN TARAWA
NATIONAL Capital District (NCD) election manager Kila Ralai has promised to run a thorough and well-organised polling and counting operation in the capital city.
“We are trying our best to deliver the election for NCD (which) previously was in chaos,” he said.
“I just want to manage this election (following) the process.
“Administratively, we will do a showcase for NCD and rest of PNG.
“We need to do it thoroughly and manage it properly rather than rushing things.
“We are not disorganised.
“We are set – (it’s) just the posts to be placed in order before we deliver the elections.”
He also dismissed claims that there were two additional ballot boxes received for the Moresby North East electorate.
He clarified that the 58 ballot boxes received from Air Transport Wing were rechecked and shown to the scrutineers. “I have already dealt with that case and it’s over.
“I don’t want to rush if things do not work out.
“I want the election to be smooth, fair and just.”
Moresby North East candidates and their scrutineers had alleged that two of the 58 boxes were tampered with because the seals had been opened.
They petitioned Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai about their concerns and demanded that polling for NCD be deferred until these issues were resolved.
Meanwhile, Moresby North East Returning Officer Billy George said they cancelled a training for polling officials on Tuesday night.
“We (cancelled it) because of time factor,” he said.
“Since it was getting late and we had the candidates and scrutineers inside the building, we conducted the pre-check of ballot boxes.
“There was no training (on Tuesday night).”