7 Mar 2012

Australia rejects link to report about PNG Electoral Commission

6:43 pm on 7 March 2012

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is rejecting claims it is connected to any report called for the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, to be urgently replaced.

Earlier this week the newspaper, The National, reported the government electoral support programme team, supported by AusAID and the consultancy firm Cardno, produced the report calling for Mr Trawen to be dumped because his management was ineffective.

It also said the defence secretary and the deputy electoral commissioner should go, along with the election managers in Enga and Southern Highlands and all headquarters information technology staff.

But in a statement, the Department says the Australian Government did not commission any such report and does not have any knowledge of it.

It also says Australia is committed to helping the PNG Government deliver elections on time and that it is providing substantial support to improve the capacity of the Electoral Commission to conduct a successful poll.