Tag Archives: competition

Marape Leads in Tari Counting 

July 5, 2017 – Post Courier 

Counting stopped after candidates raise issues

Hela Province has taken the lead as the first province in the Highlands region and Papua New Guinea to start counting of votes in the National Election.

Hela election manager John Tipa said that counting started with the seat of Tari-Pori held by Finance Minister James Marape.

As of 4pm yesterday Mr Marape, a Peoples National Congress (PNC) strongman, has taken a commanding lead of nearly 2000 votes over his nearest rival.

At the close of counting Mr Marape (PNC) was leading the progressive tally with 3315 votes, followed by Johnny Pokaja Philip 792, Pero Pajawi 451, Justin Hayara (PPP) 176 and Robert Mai 111.

Other independent candidates are below 100 while the rest have yet to score on the tally board.

This is the counting from five out of the 79 boxes for Tari-Pori, with each box from the five different local level governments (LLG) of the electorate.

When polling in the province is completed, the provincial steering committee has agreed to start counting 253 boxes from the 13 LLGs, three electorates – Tari-Pori, Komo-Margarima and Koroba-Lake Kopiago and the Regional seat.

Counting will resume today for boxes for the electorates with the boxes Komo-Margarima, Koroba-Kopiago and Hela Provincial seat.

Mr Tipa said that he stopped counting after five boxes because of several issues raised by candidates who had turned up at the counting centre at the Hela provincial headquarters.

“We are seeking legal advice from the Electoral Commission lawyers and should resume counting tomorrow (Wednesday).”

Mr Tipa said that despite minor hiccups yesterday morning, counting started smoothly as the first five boxes were cleared.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki, who was present, said Hela should be commended because they have taken the lead despite some candidate issues.
He said police have stepped up security in Hela and counting must continue, as by law counting cannot be allowed to stop once polling has been completed.

“So I commend Hela and its people. Police presence is visible with support coming from 70 mobile squad members who came up from Eastern Highlands and Western Highlands to support the security personnel on the ground,” Mr Baki said.


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.


More Problems for Gamato

July 1 2017
The Electoral Commissioner for Papua New Guinea Mr Patilias Gamato has been at the centre of more controversies after a trail of election polling disasters recorded under his leadership in 2017. 
The issues range from Election Managers caught with large amounts of cash, shortages of ballot papers in many local-level government locations across Papua New Guinea, illegal polling on notice in some centres in the country and more polling delays in many parts around the country. 
Only today, Ialibu-Pangia has become another victim of Mr Gamato’s leadership where one LLG was discovered to have been left out from the Election Prepared list.
Speculations arise from poor election preparations by Gamato with more issues expected over the next few weeks. 

Campaign To End Midnight Friday 23rd June

June 20, 2017

Campaigning across the country will end at midnight on Friday, June 23. And polling officially starts the next day.

The PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed the dates and warned candidates that no loud hailers and public gatherings will be allowed after Friday, adding that posters and banners will be allowed including period of polling.

For online, Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari, speaking in his capacity as inter-department election committee chairman, said that every political party must take heed of the end of campaign period because continuing campaigning on social media will have some consequences.

Gamato and Lupari are currently touring the Highlands Region to conduct IDEC meetings also attended by Police Commissioner Gari Baki, and PNG Defence Force commander Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo. Correctional Services Commissioner Michael Waipo did not tour.

Mr Gamato also said that the decision to appoint new Hela election steering committee members had been supported by the Electoral Commission.

He said that the appointment of the new members which included the provincial administrator William Bando as the chairman spoke volumes of the province as it prepared for a peaceful election.

However, Open and Regional candidates in Hela Province presented a petition to the Lupari inter-department election committee.

Sidelined Hela Governor and Member for Komo-Margarima Francis Potape said from Tari that a petition signed by the majority of the Open and Regional candidates intended to conduct a free and fair election in the province was given to the team calling on the electoral commissioner to address the concerns surrounding elections in the province.

“Our aim is to allow the province and the people to be the winners of the election, not candidates winning through illegal means by hijacking the process through intimidation and undue influences,” Mr Potape said.

He said they want Mr Gamato to agree with their demands and they include approval of a new and independent provincial election steering committee compromising of the head of PNG Defence Force members on the ground in Hela, the Hela police commander, the Hawa jail commander, the senior provincial magistrate and other members of the community and public service.

New Fiber Optic Cable Option being Pursued for PNG

Post-Courier – Thursday, June 8, 2017

PNG Data Co is now firming up on one of its two options to connect PNG to the world using a new submarine cable to be built.
Managing director Paul Komboi said that the government has now reviewed previously preferred options including ICN-2 and have now tasked DataCo to provide two options that will be able to connect PNG from Port Moresby to Australia.
Mr Komboi said they are now pursuing a new cable option from Port Moresby down to Sydney, Australia.
“We currently do have an optical fibre submarine connection called the “APNG-2” submarine cable from Port Moresby to Sydney, but it’s very limited in capacity, expensive and very unreliable so that’s the problem and we need to fix that problem.”
“Our APNG-2 Submarine cable down to Sydney will reach its end of life very soon I think another two years or so is left for its operation and service. We need to replace this APNG-2 submarine cable before the cable stops operating. I think basically, it’s a requirement for PNG to have a new optical fibre submarine cable with modernized and futuristic technology and capability given the dynamic nature of the ICT sector and industry.
“It’s a necessity now for the country to have a cable connecting us to the the worldwide information network to allow for accessibility to information, markets and knowledge. Reliable, a lot of capacity; that is what we need,” he said.
By building this new optical fibre submarine cable, we will introduce modernized communication technology, which will enable us to lower the pricing of data services, provide super high capacity and speed, as well as proven reliability and better service quality to meet the country’s current and future demand.”
He added that it is an important infrastructure like electicity and water, and the government’s plans and decision to invest in this high-capital modernized infrastructure is not being ambitious but rather necessary”.
“It is a necessity for the government to invest in such infrastructure and so, all we need to do now is manage them effectively and efficiently for the benefit of our people and the whole latest restructure e is about better managing those high-cpatial modernized infrastructure assets of the state and people..
“We have firmed up on one of our options. We are going into details discussions, negotiations and plans now such as the arrangements for who will be the actual vendor to supply and install the cable and also firming up on pre-sales of the capacity on who will be using the new fibre optic submarine cable. We are expecting by mid-June to end of June to be able to make some joint announcements with our partners to be able to launch this project officially,” he said.
Mr Komboi affirms that there’s also been positive response from Australia to assist them with the lending arrangements, adding that the appetite to have a new optical fibre submarine cable between Port Moresby and Sydney is there but they are looking at who they should partner with and under what structure and terms.
“There are some things we are still discussing and negotiating at the moment at the background, and we are not yet at the liberty to share unless every party has agreed to the terms and conditions.
We are yet to give a name to this new project and will announce it once all the requirements are met and parties are in principle satisfied,” he said.