It’s confirmed – the writs for Papua New Guinea 2022 general election will be issued on 24 April, to set the ball rolling for the process of electing the 111 members of the 11th Parliament.
And the biggest worry for acting Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai right now is getting the K463 million(US$131 million) needed to update the common roll and other preparatory work.
“The writs will be issued on the 24 April, 2022, and we need K463 million(US$131 million) to prepare for the national election,” he said.
Sinai said his office had already made a submission for K70 million(US$19 million) to the Treasury Department for the electoral roll update alone.
It is awaiting the fund.
Sinai said they had not included the cost of security operations during the election in the K463 million (US$131 million)
“The security operation budget will be separate,” he said.
“We have already held our first meeting with the police on the security operation plan.
“We would also like to conduct the biometric system roll for the 2022 national election.
“And so we have made a separate submission for K230 million (US$65 million) to the National Executive Council (NEC) for approval.
“And if no biometric funds are made available on time, then we will do the normal common roll update in the provinces especially in the rural electorates.
“In urban areas, we can do the biometric roll out.”
Sinai said they planned to start the election programmes as soon as the funds became available.
Sinai said the Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) is ready to review electoral boundaries after the Government allocated K5 million(US$1.4 million) for it.
“Although we need K14 million (US$3.9 million), the Government gave us K5 million to at least get some work done as reviewing of electoral boundaries is well overdue,” he said.
“The last successful boundaries commission review was in 1977.”
Sinai said they would be going out throughout the country next month.
“This year marks the 15-year period review for the electoral boundaries under section 125 of the Constitution. Hence, in August 2018, the National Executive Council (NEC) tasked the commission to undertake a nationwide enquiry of the open electorate boundaries.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS