More than 50% voted – Gamato
July 4, 2017 – Gorothy Kenneth
More than half of voting population voted
THE 2017 National Election has not failed, as records show that more than 50 percent of the voter population in districts that voted have cast their votes.
And an election can only fail if writs are not returned on the date as gazetted.
This is from the PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, who was questioned yesterday by media to confirm if this election was a failed one, since social media and mainstream had gone viral about issues pertaining to the roll and the late start of polling in some parts of the country.
But Mr Gamato insisted yesterday that the National Election was on track despite some minor issues in some parts of the country.
“The decision to fail elections rests with the Electoral Commissioner, which is me. We can qualify failed election if less than 50 percent of the population hasn’t voted. But if, within an electorate, more than 50 percent has casted their votes, you cannot fail the election,” Mr Gamato said.
“Secondly, if there is gross violence within the province disrupting the electoral process, then you can fail the election. Up to now, I’ve not seen any or heard any reports of gross violence and people who went to cast votes, let’s take NCD for example, more than 50 percent (I think 80-90 percent) of the people have cast their votes,” he said.
“And so far across the country, I have not heard any incident and violence and disruption of polling taking place, so therefore I cannot, at this stage claim election in all electorates failed.”
Mr Gamato was also asked if manipulation of election, especially in voting, was also a sign to fail the elections and to confirm if this has happened so far in polling places throughout PNG.
“I cannot at this stage, say there is manipulation, although in the past, there has been, at this stage not brought to my attention,” Mr Gamato said.