By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission is maintaining and updating the electoral roll in preparation for the 2012 general elections.
Last week, election managers and other senior officers and representatives from the Southern region administration attended a week-long workshop on maintaining and updating the electoral roll at the Loloata Island Resort outside Port Moresby.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen said the three categories underlying roll maintenance focused on new enrolments, changes to electoral details and the removal of names from the electoral roll.
However, he said the country’s electoral system needed a long-term overhaul and not a quick-fix solution in addressing election problems. Trawen was referring to National Research Institute on elections in PNG launched in Port Moresby last month.
The reports also highlighted that election problems encountered in PNG were the result of lack of voter identification, a problem that needed to be improved through the electoral roll for a free and fair elections in PNG.
“In order to do that, PNGEC needs a major capacity boost to deliver a long-term roll improvement through strong political and financial commitment by the national government to improve election roll flaws.
“I am pleased that there is political will where the government has committed to finding the necessary resources for PNGEC to come up with an improved and accurate roll.
“It is clear that the national government is keen to improve the electoral roll in preparation for 2012.”
However, Trawen said roll maintenance and update would not be carried out in full this year because the commission’s development budget received nil funding this year.