Democracy of PNG not compromised, Gamato assures nation
The democracy of Papua New Guinea is not compromised. That is the assurance by the Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato when responding to comments by the former Government Printer Ken Kaia and current Government Printer Christine Lenturut in relation to the printing of the 10 million 2017 election ballot papers overseas in Indonesia instead of a local printer.
"Let me assure the nation that we (PNG Electoral Commission) are not compromising the democracy of this nation."
"The important thing to note is that we have to secure the ballot papers because they were attempts in the past to duplicate the ballot papers."
Mr. Gamato said that the 2017 ballot papers are more improved versions (of the 2012 election ballot papers) that has a total of nine security features embedded.
He said the 2017 ballot papers will come in a pad of 50 leaves and are expected to be in the country by the end of March or early April where they will be unpacked and repacked to be distributed to all the provinces and electorates prior to commencement of polling on June 24.
During polling two ballot papers (provincial and open) will be issued to a voter at polling stations and the butts of the ballot papers will be kept by the presiding officers and will be used later to account to account for every ballot paper that has been issued at each polling station.
"Each ballot paper is the choice of a voter and it's my responsibility as Electoral Commissioner to protect that and ensure that the ballot papers we print must be secure and of world class."
"I want to assure the people of PNG that the Pura Group of Companies which is printing the 2017 ballot papers is a world class and reputable company and I have actually visited the company myself and have seen the premises and I'm satisfied."
Pura Group of Companies prints ballot papers for the Indonesian general elections as well as ballot papers for other countries. The company also prints currencies for foreign countries and further into sim card business in embedding sim card security features.