Voter awareness materials for 2017 Election launched
The PNG Electoral Commission today (Wednesday, March 29, 2017) launched its voter awareness and education materials for the 2017 National Election which included 14 new graphic products which include posters, flyers and booklets that will be distributed to all the 22 provinces, posters, electoral song and video clip. Chief Secretary to Government Ambassador Isaac Lupari officially launched the awareness materials.
This is a new and innovative voter awareness and education strategy PNGEC is undertaking.
The strategy uses the faces of our citizens to promote voter participation which includes women and marginalized groups; emphasize anti-corruption and good governance efforts; support anti-violence messages; and encourage a peaceful and successful national election.
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato in his official speech during the launching said that democratic electoral processes are strengthened by the participation of a population who are well informed of their rights and duties throughout the electoral process.
Mr. Gamato pointed out that awareness on the importance of their vote and their impact on the electoral system is essential to increase citizen understanding of their responsibilities as voters and stakeholders.
"An electorate that is well educated about the electoral process can fulfill its duty to vote more freely and thereby directly influence the future leadership of Papua New Guinea," he said.
He said that in a particularly exciting development, for the first time in Papua New Guinea, the PNG Electoral Commission has developed an Election Song and Video to promote a variety of positive messages.
Commissioner Gamato said that these variety of messages range from encouraging the right to vote to promoting more women and youth participation; from having male and female polling lines to discouraging prohibited behaviors - all in a concerted effort to encourage voter participation and conduct genuine democratic election processes.
Chief Secretary Ambassador Isaac Lupari cutting the ribbon to officially launch the 2017 election voter awareness materials and Holiday Inn Hotel in Port Moresby whilst Acting Director Awareness Alice Guguna and Commissioner Gamato watches on.
"Through this new Voter Awareness and Education Strategy, the PNGEC encourages voter participation in the service of the people of Papua New Guinea."
"My message to you all the people of Papua New Guinea is that we at the PNG Electoral Commission are doing everything possible to communicate to all our people on the importance of peaceful and inclusive elections."
"We, however, cannot do this by ourselves. We need the undivided support of you our people to disseminate these key messages that will surely contribute to a free, fair and safe 2017 National Election," Mr. Gamato said.
The Electoral Commissioner expressed gratitude on behalf of PNGEC for the technical support given by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) to all our staff at the PNGEC and for the valuable financial support from the Australian Department of Foreign Aid and Trade (DFAT) to make this support a reality.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary to Government Ambassador Isaac Lupari congratulated PNGEC and its international partners on behalf of the Government of PNG for developing new and innovative voter awareness and education materials.
Mr. Lupari was very impressed with the awareness materials saying that they mostly target the illiterate voting population of PNG who rely on seeing pictures (of real people) to get the message.