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SPECIAL PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE

  By Lindy Suharupa

The Special Parliamentary Committee on the 2022 National General Election called in the Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai to sit in and answer inquiries in regards to the recent National Election.

This is a three-day inquiry into public hearings of the last year’s National General Election which began on Tuesday.

Chairman of the Committee and Governor for East Sepik Province, Allan Bird said the Electoral Commission has been the first to be called in and this will be followed by other government entities who were directly involved in the recent elections.

It was heard at the inquiry on Tuesday, 21st February, that the 2022 National General Election was one of the worst the country has ever under-taken.

Member for Abau Sir Puka Temu who is in the committee, highlighted some issues experienced by citizens during the course of the national election, last year.

These included names not on the common roll, an issue experienced by voters in all parts of the country.

Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai when responding said requests for funds were put forward in 2019 however the Electoral Commission did not receive any prompt response from the government.

It was heard at the inquiry that the Electoral Commission did not procure ballot papers, durable ink for voting and even logistics for the 2022 election.

More so, it was heard that international and bilateral partners assisted in funding the 2022 election.

The Chairman of this committee Allan Bird put forward a recommendation that early submissions must be made with a projected time-frame of expected funding for future elections.

The inquiry pointed out that elections must be uniform in all centres of the country with centralised polling areas especially for areas that are security concerned.

The issue of duplicated ballot papers was also raised with Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai questioned on the process election officials were appointed.

In response, Commissioner Sinai said each Provincial Steering Committees in respective provinces recommend applicants to the Headquarters and there is a process in place.

Following the Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai who sat in this morning, Police Commissioner David Manning and Chief of Defence Force Major General Mark Goina are expected to appear before the committee as well.

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