Highlands News Your Vote 2017

Baisu Prisoners Feel Deprived

Prisoners at the Baisu Jail in Western Highlands Province and families of warders missed out on voting this month.

This happened when only 200 ballot papers were given to them at the time of the polling, seeing only a few warders who were present voted.

EMTV News traveled to Baisu Jail and spoke with the inmates and Baisu Jail Commander, Timbi Kaugla.

The prisoners said they felt deprived by the Electoral Commission for not being given the chance to express their democratic rights to elect their leaders.

Baisu Jail Commander, Timbi Kaugla says even though they were given 200 ballot papers, they have been intimidated and threatened by the nearby community. What the prisoners and the warders want is for the Electoral Commission to have a working system like the National Identification Card so that PNG can have a fair election.

Baisu Jail has at least 1500 eligible voters both the prisoners, warders and their families.

The prisoners felt bad when they missed out on voting and urged the Electoral Commission not to repeat this in the next National Election. A female prisoner, Lilian Mark served almost seven years in prison.

Lilian reiterated what the other inmates said, saying it has deprived their rights to vote their leaders even though many of their rights are limited. This issue has raised concerns for the National Government to have a working system in place so people will not miss out in the coming elections.

Meanwhile, those who missed out have nothing to do but to wait till 2022 to vote.

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