2610 Govt not interfering with PNGEC, says Prime Minister

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill says the Government does not interfere in the work of the Electoral Commission. He said this yesterday (October 25, 2016) when asked by Rabaul MP Dr. Allan Marat about the updating of the electoral roll and whether it was true that the appointment of returning officers was done by Cabinet. O'Neill told Parliament the Government is only giving all the support the Electoral Commission needed.

"The danger about leaders being involved in gossip and speculation in Parliament without facts is quite concerning," O'Neill said.

"The Electoral Commission must be allowed to do its independent job that has been tasked by the Constitution to do so."

"There is is no interference from anyone, including Cabinet, including this Parliament."

O'Neill said the electoral roll was being updated and would be ready in time for the 2017 election.

"I'm advised that the Electoral Commission and their officials are updating the common (electoral) roll starting this week in districts and respective provinces," he said.

"They (PNGEC) are not updating the common roll here in Port Moresby."

"They will physically be in the districts and they will be updating all the common rolls throughout the country."

"I'm advised that the cleansing process, when it comes back to being consolidated here in Port Moesby, will be in January 2017."

"The final listing of the common roll will be scheduled to be gazetted in February 2017."

"That is two months before the writs are going to be issued on April 20, 2017."

"I'm sure that the Electoral Commission is doing its best."

"We are giving them every support we can in trying to ensure that the common roll is an accurate one that will make sure that the right leaders are elected into this Parliament - not elected by some unknown ghosts as we have come to know in the past."


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