11 Mar 2013

PNG PM fends off Transparency conclusions over election

8:11 pm on 11 March 2013

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has defended the conduct of the 2012 elections, after a Transparency International report described the poll as seriously flawed and unfair.

Drawing on accounts from 282 observers it fielded in the elections, TI's report found that in 21 percent of polling places observers described the election process as either unfair or very unfair.

The process at 45 percent of polling places was found to be mostly fair.

However, Mr O'Neill says that overall the conduct of the election was significantly better than the previous two general elections.

The Prime Minister says that with Australian support, and the presence of international observers, as well as a free press, and a robust political party process, the election produced a fair and democratic result.

While Mr O'Neill has voiced disappointment at the TI report, but the watchdog says it has field

reports and photographic evidence backing its conclusions.