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PNG Govt told it must end election “irregularities”

Thursday 23 June 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Papua New Guinea, Regional

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PNG Govt told it must end election “irregularities”
Voting in the 2017 poll Photo: RNZI/ Johnny Blades

The Papua New Guineea Government has been urged to do more to promote free, fair and safe national elections.

The call, from the National Research Institute, comes just nine days before voting starts in the national poll.

The think tank said free, fair and safe elections are key components of a democratic system and allow people to freely expressed their choices without external influences.

But it noted irregularities are now common in PNG elections.

Researcher, William Kipongi, points to vote buying, treating and gifting by candidates, block voting by communities, intimidation and violence.

He said to overcome these irregularities penalties imposed for vote buying should be toughened up.

Another move he advocates is more effort being put into awareness on the importance elections have for service delivery.

Mr Kipongi suggested nullifying all votes cast through communal/block voting because that practice is damaging to democracy.

And he also wanted to see tougher penalties on those candidates and supporters who use violence to intimidate voters.