3 Jun 2002

European Commission hopeful of fair election in Papua New Guinea

4:36 pm on 3 June 2002

The European Commission has expressed its confidence that this month's election in Papua New Guinea will be fair.

The PNG government discussed the possible deployment of EU observers for the two-week poll but Brussels decided that PNG was not among the eight countries where a full observer mission would be sent.

The head of the delegation of the European Commission in Port Moresby, Anthony Crasner, says a recent assessment identified as problems the inaccuracy of the electoral roll and security problems.

"In some areas there are more security concerns than in others, but the main reason for deciding not to offer to Papua New Guinea an observation mission, was the conviction on behalf of the European Union and the member states that the process would be a free and fair one, and would largely represent the will of the people and would be a truly democratic reflection of that will."

Anthony Crasner of the European Commission