PNG ‘isn’t broke’, says PM Marape who wants byelections to go ahead

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PNG Prime Minister James Marape
PNG Prime Minister James Marape . . . "As far as the government is concerned, we want the byelections done at the earliest.” Image: PNG Post-Courier

PNG Post-Courier

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape says funding for impending byelections is not an issue.

“We are assisting the Electoral Commission with funding, I have strongly advised Electoral Commissioner to get the byelection up and running.

“Put the programme together, get to Treasury and request funding and the byelections must be done. As far as the government is concerned, we want the byelections done at the earliest.”

PNG's Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai
PNG’s Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai . . . “We are prepared and ready to conduct byelections in the three open electorates first.” Image: PNG Post-Courier

The election needed to be “done now”, he added.

However, Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai confirmed the deferral of the byelections was due to lack of funding.

“We are prepared and ready to conduct byelections in the three open electorates first, Sohe in Northern, Maprik in East Sepik and Porgera-Paiela in Enga,” Sinai said.

“However, due to the cash flow situation in the country, we have to wait for the lead agencies to secure the necessary funding for us to deliver the elections.”

Three byelections delayed
Sinai said byelections in Madang, Aitape-Lumi and Dei would not proceed as initially planned until the review matters before the courts were dealt with and concluded.

The issue of writs for the byelections for three electorates in PNG were scheduled for Wednesday and this was said to be now deferred until April due to financial constraints.

PNG Electoral Commission needs K20 million to run the three planned byelections and so far no funding has been allocated.

The Electoral Commission is still waiting for the Finance and Treasury Departments to release the funds that were requested through a budget submission for six open electorates where byelections were expected to be conducted this year.

Republished from the PNG Post-Courier by permission.

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