Lack of funding casts doubt over PNG by-elections

9:56 am on 1 May 2015

Papua New Guinea's electoral commissioner has cast doubt on whether two upcoming by-elections can be successfully completed because of a lack of funding.

Andrew Trawen says he cannot guarantee the successful completion of the by-elections in West Sepik and Goilala if funding is only released by Treasury on a piecemeal basis.

The newspaper, The National, quotes Mr Trawen saying Treasury must release the balance of the by-election funds as a matter of urgency, otherwise both elections will be total failures.

The by-election for the governor of West Sepik, a seat that's been vacant for two years, is scheduled to start on 20th July, but Mr Trawen says Treasury has only released US$928,000 of the $3.7 million budgeted for it.

The current interim governor, Belden Namah, who was only appointed a few weeks ago, has told The National he won't be contesting the seat.

Only half of the total $1.7 million dollars has been released for the Goilala by-election.