By AILEEN KWARAGU
Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai has urged people to elect right leaders and not be misled by money and material things.
He said registered voters would exercise their democratic rights to elect the leader of their choice.
Sinai was commenting on the ongoing reports of violence leading up to polling involving candidates and their supporters.
“People should understand the role of the Electoral Commission –that we are only responsible (for facilitating) the 2022 General Election (GE22) in wards and electorates,” he said.
Sinai said they began distributing ballot papers last week to formalise the election process.
“As an individual and a voter in a Papua New Guinean perspective, you have already determined who to vote for,” he said.
“We as the facilitators will bring the service to the people and Australians have supported the country by printing and transporting the ballot papers.”
He said the ballot papers had been designed according to council wards and candidates should consider that as a private location.
He urged supporters and candidates to be mindful of the service provided and appreciate the efforts being done to conduct the GE22.
“My appeal to candidates and supporters is that they should not fight and argue with each other (but) instead use the Limited Preferential Voting (LPV) system,” he said.
Candidate aims to improve livelihood
AN independent candidate contesting the Karimui-Salt Nomane Open seat in Chimbu is aiming his policies towards improving basic living standards as they rarely see basic government development in the district.
For so many years, this part of Chimbu had never seen a complete government infrastructure and service development and had been disconnected with difficult road conditions confining them to outside exposure, said Bata Philip Jossie, of Sirabulum village in Nomane.
“Improving basic services such as social, economic and living standard paves way for major infrastructure development to enter the district,” he said.
A first-time contender, 44-year-old mining engineer Jossie is one of 52 candidates contesting the seat.
Having 15 years’ experience in various mining companies in PNG, Australia and having lived abroad, Jossie said he had seen opportunities that could be grabbed and utilised to develop the country and its people.
“We have so much natural resources and yet we live in poverty,” he said.
Jossie said education, health, road and infrastructure, the Karimui hydro project, cocoa projects and agriculture were the priority areas.
“My aim is to make sure people are able to sustain themselves in growing crops and vegetables, which can be sold in the national and international market and I want to provide market for them.”
Jossie said creating avenues for the locals to sell their locally grown, organic vegetables outside the country would encourage people to till the land to keep them busy and equipped to sustain their everyday life.
“I want to push for this for the world to realise how best our locally grown and organic food can be,” he said.
“I have purchased vegetables from the shops in Australia and I’m confident to say that ours is best in nutrition as well as quality and have the potential to flood the market.”
Polling materials for Western Highlands land in Kagamuga
GENERAL Election 2022 (GE22) materials for Western Highlands have arrived in the province.
The materials including ballot papers, nomination posters and stationery were flown in by Australian Air Force C13 Hercules aircraft.
The materials will be used for polling and counting, polling starts on July 4.
A total of 200 boxes containing regional and open ballot papers for Western Highlands were counted and then locked away at the Kimininga Police Barracks in Mt Hagen.
Provincial election manager Philip Telape said the boxes were counted, signed and witnessed by security personnel along with returning officers and their assistants from the four electorates.
Telape said of the 200 boxes, 57 were allocated for the Dei electorate, 39 for Hagen, 60 for Tambul-Nebilyer and 44 for Mul-Baiyer.
“All these boxes are locked away in a container at the Kimininga Police Barracks after witnessed by the ROs, AROs, security personnel and electoral officials,” he said.
Telape said materials for three electorates – Tambul-Nebilyer, Mul-Baiyer and Dei – would be airlifted to a designated area in preparation for the polling.
Funding, he said, had been made available.
Hela police ready for election ops
POLICE in Hela are ready to conduct operations for General Elections 2022, according to acting provincial commander Chief Inspector Robin Bore.
He said law and order in the province had been stabilised with security forces now prepared for polling scheduled for July 4.
“We will be relying heavily on the manpower coming from the neighbouring provinces, the Quick Response Force (QRF) and our counterparts from the Correctional Services and the PNG Defence Force,” he said.
Bore said he was confident that the election could be conducted with minimum disturbance as a total of 275 polling areas in Hela would be monitored and covered by security personnel during the polling period.
“We have already identified hotspots or trouble areas,” he said.
“We are expecting some disturbances during the polling but will manage.”
Official says counting in Morobe to take two days
By EHEYUC SESERU
COUNTING in Morobe will take two days as all will be done concurrently in local level governments (LLGs) and figures sent to the central tally centre, provincial election manager Simon Soheke says.
“The counting strategy that we are going to use will be quite different from the system used in previous elections,” he said.
“Everything will be centralised in districts and counting in LLGs.”
“Each LLG will count from its own boxes at the same time.
“We won’t count from one LLG then on to the other.
“We will set up multiple counting centres. Elimination will be done at districts and for provincial seat at the central counting centre in Lae.
“We trialled it out in the Menyamya by-election in 2020 and it worked well. So it can be close to people.
“We want to take counting and whole election process closer to where people live so they can take ownership, feel responsible and be part of the major event. We were given only seven days for counting, so that is why we’re going to use that strategy.
“We need money for this to speed up preparations for counting.
“So long as we have the money, we can get things off the ground.”
Soheke said since they would be counting per 34 LLGs of 10 districts in the province, they were expecting a higher number of counting officials.
He clarified that polling for Lae, Wampar and Nawaeb urban would be only one day, while the rest of the province would be spread from the period starting on July 4.
Soheke also said that meetings for returning officers and their assistants would be conducted towards the end of this week.
“I know it’s going to be a big challenge for us but when we work together with stakeholders, we’ll deliver the election,” he said.
Meanwhile, ballot papers for the province arrived on Monday.