PNG elections chief confident of US$60m funding

12:15 pm on 15 February 2016

The Chief Electoral Commissioner in PNG says he is hopeful the government will release necessary funds of around 60 million US dollars within the next two months.

Last week Patilias Gamato announced both national and local government elections would be held in June 2017.

However Mr Gamato has also said the Commission needs at least another 60 million dollars to do its work.

PNG Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato.

PNG Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato. Photo: EMTV

More than 30 million dollars would be needed to update the electoral rolls which Mr Gamato said was the next task for the commission.

The Commissioner said he was optimistic the government would release funding, despite the fact a request for nearly 64 million dollars in the 2016 Budget, was only answered by a 3.3 million dollar allocation.

"The elections are an important national event and the prime minister is actually aware of that. I have briefings with the prime minister and the chief secretary for government so I am sure they can provide the funding as early as March/April for us to start the work."

Patilias Gamato said he would prefer that the full amount be released rather than instalments as he said that may lead to further delays.