20 Jul 2006

Concern 2007 PNG poll could end in chaos

6:26 pm on 20 July 2006

The Papua New Guinea chapter of the anti corruption group, Transparency Interntional, says next year's general election could descend into chaos.

This follows a messy by-election in Port Moresby this month which has been marred by violence, a kidnapping, vote-buying and an electoral roll riddled with false names.

TI's PNG chairman, Mike Manning, says serious lessons need to be drawn from the inconclusive by-election in the National Capital District regional seat.

The seat was left vacant by the death of former prime minister, Sir William Skate, in January.

Mr Manning has questioned the competency of PNG's Electoral Commission, asking how it can run an election in the whole of the country when it cannot conduct a successful election in the capital, at its office door.

For nearly two weeks the counting of votes has been stalled as candidates and the Electoral Commission argue in court over whether extra days of polling should be allowed.

"The Supreme Court is due to rule on the issue tomorrow. (FRI )"