30,000 temporary workers for PNG election

9:12 am on 11 May 2017

As preparations for Papua New Guinea's elections intensify, the Electoral Commission has announced it will be employing 30,000 public servants as temporary election workers.

Crowd at an election rally in East Sepik, Papua New Guinea.

Crowd at an election rally in East Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said these workers would be contracted on short term engagements to assist in polling and counting, each of which will last nominally two weeks.

The Post Courier reports the temporary election workers would complement the 4800 personnel in the polling team, which will be conducting polling in the 10,798 polling stations across the country.

The electoral commission expects about four million or 80 percent of eligible voters to cast their votes during June's general election.

Mr Gamato said it had printed 10 million ballot papers, five million for the provincial seats and five for the open seats.

He said in 2012, the number of eligible voters was 4.8 million but only 3.7 million people voted.

To be on the safe side, more ballot papers had been printed in case there was an increase after roll-updating.

Mr Gamato said they would go by the enrolment figures to know exactly how many ballot papers would be released to each electorate.

If there are extra papers they will be stamped and cancelled.

Meanwhile, the government chief secretary Isaac Lupari, announced that the Department of Finance and Treasury will be releasing US$6 million each week for the running of the elections.

The money is to go to the police and the Electoral Commission.

Representing the Inter Departmental Election Committee, Mr Lupari said releasing money this way was a move to combat funds mismanagement.

According to the newspaper The National, Mr Gamato said the Electoral Commission had to date spent US$13.3 million on the election.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs