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Voting in Papua New Guinea marred by electoral roll problems

Monday, 3 July 2017

SYDNEY: Polling in Papua New Guinea has been hampered by reports of disruptions and voters being left off the electoral roll, but the head of an international election observer group said there was no evidence they were deliberate.

The two-week long election to decide who will lead the resource-rich South Pacific nation began on June 24, pitting 3,332 candidates from 44 political parties against each other for a place in the 111-seat parliament.

But reports of problems at voting booths and allegations of ballot fraud have soured the mood among some in a country which has a history of electoral violence and corruption.

There has clearly been problems … but to be fair, in our observation, the government has endeavoured to address these, Sir Anand Satyanand, chairman of the Commonwealth observer group, said.

Problems with the 2017 electoral roll have meant that the 2012 roll was being used in some areas, preventing some people from casting votes.

Logistical issues, poor transportation links and bad weather had disrupted voting in other parts of the country.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who is in a strong position to retain power, has rejected accusations by opposition politicians that he is to blame for the election issues.

The electoral roll is the responsibility of the Electoral Commission and is independent, he said in a statement yesterday.

Source by: Internet

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