Money urgently needed for PNG elections

3:17 pm on 12 January 2016

The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commissioner says the commission urgently needs over US$60 million to prepare for next year's national election.

Patilias Gamato told the newspaper, The National, the commission had asked the government for nearly US$64 million in the 2016 Budget, but was only allocated US$3.3 million.

Mr Gamato says they are not pressing the panic button because they know the government will support the commission but the only pressure is the timing.

He is also urging the government not to release funding in 'dribs and drabs'.

Mr Gamato says the priority right now is holding supplementary elections for failed local level governments, which the court had ordered to be done quickly and which will cost more than US$7 million.

One of the biggest costs will be updating the electoral rolls at about US$37 million.

Other expected costs include ballot boxes, legal bills and more than five million dollars worth of unpaid bills to service providers from the 2007 and 2012 elections.