K500million for PNG election: PM Marape

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says the 2022 general election will cost Papua New Guineans about K500 million(US$142 million) with a huge portion going to the common roll update, pre-election planning and security operations.

“This is why we have asked for the police and the Electoral Commission to submit a budget within the limit of the estimates,” he said.

Police Minister William Onglo also said Police Commissioner David Manning had signed off on the budget for the election security on Friday.

Onglo said the budget would be taken to the National Executive Council.

Police are seeking K194.1 million (US$55.2 million) for security operations throughout the election.

Comm Manning told The National that the breakup of the security budget was K48 million (US$13.6 million) for transport, K47.6 million (US$13.5 million) for allowances and K43.9 million (US$12.5 million) for travel, including air support.

The National understands that the remaining balance includes:

*Planning, coordination, training and welfare – K17.1 million(US$4.8 million);
*Equipment – K16 million(US$4.5 million);
*Communications – K10.6 million (US$3 million);
*Threat mitigation and awareness – K9.7 million (US$2.7 million); and,
*K1.2 million(US$341,000) for the formation of a new Government.

“K500 million(US$142 million) is a huge chunk of the national budget, so we are also having a closer look to ensure that we minimise unnecessary spending on areas that (the money) can be absorbed elsewhere,” Marape said.

“That is why the inter-department election steering committee is now in full swing, working on what the essential cost is and what other associated costs could be spent elsewhere.

“We have pushed beyond K500 million in 2017, and in 2012, it also pushed beyond K500 million.

Marape said much of the spending was associated with security, transportation, logistics and the counting period.

“To the best of our ability, we want to minimise the cost,” he said.

“I appeal to Papua New Guineans to support the election, support the police, and ensure law and order prevails,” said Marape.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL.PACNEWS