9 Dec 2004

PNG Government called on to rebuild the integrity of electoral system

9:31 pm on 9 December 2004

A soon to be released report is calling for the Papua New Guinea government to start immediate work to rebuild the integrity of the country's electoral process.

New Zealand academic Andrew Ladley, who is the Director of the Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, led a team, at the request of Transparency International, to audit three recent by-elections in PNG.

The team will issue a report shortly detailing election fraud involving multiple voting and cheating during the count, the enormous costs of the security needed, the difficulties posed by the counting of preferences, and the woeful state of the rolls.

Andrew Ladley says the under resourced Electoral Commission is aware of the problems, but leadership is needed right now from the Prime Minister down.

"This is now an opportunity almost required by the Supreme Court, as well as by sensible planning, for them to carefully allocate resources and work closely in partnership with supportive agencies to rebuild the integrity of the Papua New Guinea elections."