2405 Head of Commonwealth election observer mission arrives in PNG

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has welcomed the head of the Commonwealth Election Observer Group Sir Anand Satyanand who arrived this afternoon in Port Moresby in an advance mission. Sir Anand will be in the country with members of his observer team for two days (24 May to 27 May) to meet with a wide range of stakeholders and review election preparations.

“The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland is deploying a 12-member observer mission to observe the 2017 national election following an invitation from the Government of PNG.”​ 

He said that the former Governor-General of New Zealand will lead the Commonwealth Observer Group for the 2017 national election from June to July 2017.

“A team of advance observers will commence duties in Port Moresby on 7 June while Sir Anand and the remaining members of the Commonwealth Observer Group will join them from 20 June.”

Commissioner Gamato said that the Commonwealth Election Observer Group for the 2017 national election comprises of observers from New Zealand, Australia, Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, India, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

He said that Commonwealth observers were present at four of the last five national elections in PNG – 1992, 1997, 2007 and 2012.

Meanwhile, the Group is to consider the various factors impinging on the credibility of the electoral process as a whole in PNG.

It will determine in its own judgment whether the 2017 election has been conducted according to the standards for democratic elections to which PNG has committed itself in accordance with PNG’s election laws and relevant Commonwealth, regional and other international norms and commitments.

“The Group will act impartially and independently with no executive role to supervise but to observe the process as a whole and to form a judgment accordingly,” Mr. Gamato explained.

He said that the Group will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General who will forward it to the Government of PNG, the PNG Electoral Commission and leaders of political parties and all Commonwealth member governments.

The Group will remain in Papua New Guinea until 11 July.

Media Consultant

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