The 2022 general election in Papua New Guinea will go ahead as scheduled, starting with a issuing of writs on 28 April, says Prime Minister James Marape.

Marape said there would be no deferral.

He was responding to questions from Tewai-Siassi MP Kobby Bomareo on the voting system, election funding and the updating of the common roll.

“The elections will go ahead as planned with the issuing of writs on 28 April,” Marape said.

Bomareo asked Marape whether it was legal for people to carry around a form (Form 13) to update the roll, before the Electoral Commission had even announced the updating of the common roll.

Marape said the updating of the common roll was a common problem during elections. The important thing with the updates is to identify those who have died and remove their names, and include the names of new eligible voters, he added.

He said a team from the Electoral Commission, Prime Minister’s department and the Justice department would ensure nothing went wrong before the 2022 general election.

Marape estimates the cost of the 2022 general election to be around K400 million (US$113 million).

“We have a team from the Finance, Treasury, National Planning, PM’s department and the EC working with the law enforcement agencies – police, CIS and Defence – to properly verify and ensure that the EC is fully resourced to stage the elections safely, on time and according to budget,” Marape added.

On the voting system to be used, Marape said “as the law is today, the First Preferential Vote still stands,” he said.