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MP blames Commission for election chaos

Thursday 28 July 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Papua New Guinea, Regional

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MP blames Commission for election chaos
PNG Communications Minister and Bougainville South MP, Timothy Masiu Photo: Tim Masiu

Re-elected Papua New Guinea MP Tim Masiu says much of the blame for the country's election fiasco can be directed at the Electoral Commission.

The Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae has accepted a recommendation from the Electoral Commission to delay the return of writs in the country's general election.

Masiu, who was Communications Minister in the former government, said there were no disruptions in his South Bougainville seat.

He said the violence and disruption around the rest of Papua New Guinea will be a major focus of the new government.

Masiu accuses the Commission of sitting around in the five years between elections when it should have been doing things like updating the electoral roll.

"The Government gives them a lot of money. We pay everything to the Electoral Commission.

"We paid for the resources that they needed but they are ill-prepared I guess.

"And maybe there's not enough qualified people to run the election, so it takes a whole lot to do a post-mortem on what happened and I am sure the government will come up with a few changes."

Masiu also called for more scrutiny of candidates lining up to contest elections and an increase in the nomination fee.

He said the general election will be a major focus of the new government and he wants to see higher quality candidates.

"First of all, candidates who are standing for election in all the electorates they should be screened properly.

"They should have no police records, they should have good qualifications - some kind of criteria should be used.

"Also, we should increase the nomination fee. Just now [it's] a mere 1000 kina. Anybody can pull out 1000 kina from somewhere."

Former Kumuls coach elected

The until recently Papua New Guinea rugby league coach and Independent candidate Michael Marum has been declared as Governor-elect for the East New Britain Province.

Marum was officially declared by the Provincial Returning Officer Joap Voivoi on Wednesday.

Marum polled 33,285 votes, while the United Labour Party candidate Cosmas Bauk polled 25,433.

Marum thanked the outgoing MPs Allan Marat, Emil Tammur and Nakikus Konga for their service to the people of the province, and invited them to be part of his working team for a better East New Britain.

Marum thanked the people of East New Britain for allowing a son from the Rabaul District to take up the Governor's post, which has been predominantly dominantly by people from the Kokopo, Gazelle and Pomio Districts.