24 Jan 2017

Common roll update on track, says PNG electoral chief

6:33 am on 24 January 2017

The process of updating Papua New Guinea's common electoral roll is on track, according to Electoral Commissioner Patilius Gamato.

PNG is due to go to polls for its five-yearly general elections in late June, but numerous intending candidates have claimed that the common roll is rife with errors.

Mr Gamato admits that the roll he inherited, which was used in the 2012 general elections, was inflated.

He said Australia's Electoral Commission had helped them cleanse the roll of around 109-thousand so-called "ghost names".

He said this month, while cleansing was ongoing, the commission engaged the provinces to enter data to update the roll.

"What will happen is for the month of February, we will publish the preliminary roll for people to come forward and observe. So if they come and see that there is a relative who is dead but their name is still there, they will check it and flag it. So the election managers will then identify it and start cleansing that," he said.

Patilius Gamato said he hopes to print the final roll by the end of March.

He said the Electoral Commission was encouraging people to go on its website and check whether their name was on the roll.

Mr Gamato said the total number on the roll following the 2012 polls was 4.8 million, of which 3.7 people voted.

PNG's population was understood to be hovering around 8 million.

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