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PNG’s Governor-General to delay return of election writs

Wednesday 27 July 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Papua New Guinea, Regional

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PNG’s Governor-General to delay return of election writs
Papua New Guinea's Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae. Photo: EMTV

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

The writs were due to be returned on Friday (July 29) to complete the election process, however there are delays in many electorates because of violence and attempts to disrupt vote counting.

As a result the decision has been made that two more weeks is needed.

Meanwhile, the Papua New Guinea Education Department has deferred some national examinations because of the recent unrest in Port Moresby.

The Post Courier reports the Education Secretary Uke Kombra deferred the Grade 12 national examination set for next Monday for two weeks.

He said he hoped this would be sufficient time for the election counting to be completed and a more conducive environment to be created for the examinations.

On Sunday warring groups attached to two rival candidates battled near the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby, where vote counting was happening, with the violence relayed on social media.

A political advisor said there weren't enough police officers and that what's needed is increased military presence.

PNG Think Tank Group chief executive Samson Komati said given the endless reports of chaos and killings during the elections, the current number of law enforcement personnel is inadequate.

"We just need a military presence all over the nation a total of police and military in this country, maybe less than 20,000 and that's insufficient to contain any form of strategic violence."

Komati believed the country was in the midst of its "worst elections" since 1975.

He said people on the ground are witnessing widespread election fraud and violence with supporters of political parties tampering with ballot boxes and block-voting for their own candidates.

Komati said almost 70 of voters in some regions did not cast their votes.