29 Jun 2012

Call for supplementary roll amid PNG polling woes

3:51 pm on 29 June 2012

Papua New Guinea's caretaker government has asked the Electoral Commission to allow the use of a supplementary roll at polling stations as a back-up for the updated common rolls.

The newspaper, The National, reports that it is seen as a contingency measure to allow eligible voters who cannot find their names on the common rolls to cast their votes.

PNG is still only midway through its two-week polling period but many voters have complained about being unable to vote.

The caretaker Prime Minister Peter O'Neill says the Electoral Commissioner has the authority to fall back on the option of using a supplementary roll.

Mr O'Neill and the Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, were the target of scathing criticism by the caretaker deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah over the state of the rolls.

Mr Namah says the two collaborated to have the election as scheduled instead of deferring it by six months.

Mr O'Neill says it is not the job of politicians to run elections and that of the Electoral Commission.

He says the motive of politicians to defer the elections has little to do with the preparedness of the common roll, or lack of it.