2205 Some polling places centralized for security reasons

Some polling places in the Highlands have been centralized in one location for security reasons and not for any other reasons. This follows concerns raised by candidates and their supporters over the centralizing of 19 polling places for security reasons to the new Singirok army barracks and Nondugl station in North Waghi, Jiwaka Province.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said the decision to centralize and gazette these polling places is for security reasons and nothing else.

“The changes made to the nine polling places centralized at Singirok barracks and 10 polling places centralized at Nondugl station is because of tribal fights and traditional tribal enemy zones.”

Mr. Gamato explained that he arrived at the decision upon advice from police taking into consideration the limited security resources and manpower requirements. 

“Centralizing of polling places was the initiative of police security to effectively monitor and coordinate disturbances arising from these polling places.” 

“If PNGEC does not take heed of advice from police then issues such as hijacking of ballot boxes and intimidation of voters and polling officials as experienced in past elections and might happen again.” 

The Electoral Commissioner pointed out that by law, the Returning Officer of an electorate has the power to appoint polling places and prepare polling schedules and not necessarily the Election Manager in the province.   

Media Consultant

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