8 May 2004

Poor citizen registration in PNG linked to electoral fraud

9:34 am on 8 May 2004

A senior journalist at Papua New Guinea's National newspaper says the low rate of citizen registration is a big contributor to electoral fraud.

It's estimated only 60,000 of the country's population of 5.2 million has a birth certificate, and a campaign is under way to turn it around.

Frank Senge Kolma, who's covered the story for the National, says ghost voters are crowding the electoral roll - but this could be stopped if voters had to prove their identity with a birth certificate.

Mr Kolma says that's not the only problem authorities face.

"Then there's other things like, human smuggling, through Papua New Guinea, in and out of Papua New Guinea, er, you know, control of people is very difficult, unless you can identify certain individuals, and one good way would be through a civil registry."