3 Jul 2002

Confidence that PNG election result will be legitimate despite chaos surrounding voting

10:10 am on 3 July 2002

A political scientist in Papua New Guinea says despite the chaos surrounding the elections a legitimate parliament will be in place by July 18th.

The Constitution requires that the process by completed by then.

Dr Ray Anere, the head of political science at the University of PNG in Port Moresby says problems with the common roll and the ballot papers, and tampering with ballot boxes have been the order of the day throughout the country.

But he says the vote was still successfully completed in most areas and counting should be finished on schedule.

"..so all in all, yes we have had a disorganised or problem riddled elections, but I think we will still pull through and still have results declared and we should have a legitimate parliament by July 18th 2002"

Dr Ray Anere says there will be electoral petitions but he doubts they would affect the majority of seats, and undermine the legitimacy of the new Government.

He says 88 of the 109 results were challenged following the 1997 election but most were thrown out by the Court of Disputed Returns.