24 Apr 2007

Mass resignation of electoral officials in PNG just weeks out from election

3:09 pm on 24 April 2007

The election managers in Papua New Guinea's largest province of Morobe have resigned en masse over what they say is a lack of preparedness for the elections.

The province's deputy administrator, Patilias Gamato, told the National that the elections would be a disaster.

He says the Electoral Commission will have to organise its own people to run the voting in Morobe after the nine returning officers and 35 assistant returning officers for the province's ten electorates, handed in the resignation letter.

Those who resigned say not only are people confused about the Limited Preferential voting, or LPV system that is to be used, but also the reforms to the ballot papers and other election issues.

One officer says no awareness campaigns on LPV had been run in the province because the Electoral Commission did not release funds to do so.

The election managers say they will only return to work if all the election funding for Morobe is released as per the budget they had submitted in January and for the Commission to release the final electoral rolls by June 1 for checking.