20 Jul 2012

Observer assessment finds PNG election free and fair

7:24 pm on 20 July 2012

An international observer delegation supported by the US Department of State has issued a preliminary assessment of the Papua New Guinea election.

It found that the election in numerous parts of the country appeared to be largely free and fair, but also noted serious irregularities in other areas notably the Highlands.

Organised by the East-West Center's Pacific Islands Development Program, the mission included election specialists, former government officials, academics and civil society representatives from Australia, Micronesia, Solomon Islands and the US.

The report has recommended several areas of focus for electoral reforms.

These include reform of the registration process and production of the electoral common roles, and introduction of provisional ballots for those who were inadvertently omitted from the roles

It also recommends consultation with communities in the Highlands and Momase region on ways to use traditional means of inter-ethnic conflict resolution without compromising the integrity of the ballot.