1801 International and regional election observers to do scoping

International and regional observers of the 2017 national general election will be in the country early in February to do scoping for their election observations when polling begins on June 24. Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato this week signed off the invitations to four election observer groups to assemble their respective teams to observe PNG’s ninth national parliament general election.

These four groups include the Commonwealth, Australian High Commission and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian National University in partnership with the UPNG/State Society Governance in Melanesia Program and Transparency International (PNG) Incorporated.

PNGEC has received positive responses from them to deploy scoping teams to draw up their plans and costs which are self-funded.

Regional groups like the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group have yet to respond while the European Union Delegation to PNG has expressed its interest in December 2016 to deploy a team.

Mr. Gamato said the first scoping team is expected this week from the ANU-UPNG/SSGM partnership will arrive in Port Moresby this week followed by the Commonwealth to commence their scoping from February 6-10.

“I have proposed to set up a three-person unit to coordinate the aspects of scoping, vetting, accreditation, monitoring in-country visit programs and reports to the government.”

He said two senior officers; each would be drawn from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Immigration, Prime Minister & NEC and officer from the PNG Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commissioner said the three-person unit will be organized this month to plan and manage the in-country election observation groups – international, regional and domestic.

Mr. Gamato has appointed former Electoral Commissioner Reuben Kaiulo, who is currently assisting him as advisor, to coordinate the observer missions/groups.




ALPHONSE MUAPI
Media Consultant

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