17 Jul 2007

Observers say electoral malpractice rife in PNG election

11:24 am on 17 July 2007

The anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International in Papua New Guinea says there are indications that significant abuse of the electoral process has occurred during the national elections.

The secretary of TI in PNG, Richard Kassman, says there have been a number of electoral malpractices that could have an impact on the final result.

He says this includes multiple voting and the completing of ballot papers by supporters of candidates or electoral officials.

"One of my directors saw where the first preferences were all ticked and it was openly explained to the observation team that people in that village, in that locality, had agreed that all ones would go to one particular candidate and therefore it was necessary that people vote, so they marked it for them, in the presence and the eyes of the presiding officers, so this sort of carry on did take place in a lot of areas."