400 local volunteers have registered under Transparency International PNG or TIPNG to observe the 2017 National Election across the Country.
These observers will only witness polling to report on any gross abuse or corruption in the voting process.
TIPNG staff conducted the 2017 National Election Observers Training yesterday for the upper Highlands in Mt Hagen.
The TIPNG observers will report to the PNG Electoral Commission any abuses of the election process.
If the report is found to be true, the Electoral Commission may declare the election in an electorate or Province failed.
TIPNG as a member of the Election Advisory Committee can recommend to the committee based on the observer’s report that the election in an electorate was not free and fair, and should therefore be declared failed.
The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) will play a major role, including PNG Defence Force and the Correctional Service, to ensure the election is free and fair.
At the observers training in Mt Hagen, the RPNGC Legal Officer for the Highlands Region, John Sagom, gave a brief rundown of the kind of work the security force will be doing during the election.
The observers were also told to act and work together with police to ensure their reporting is accurate.
TIPNG started observing the National Elections in 2007 to encourage a better and more transparent process.
The Ombudsman Commission, for the first time, will also observe the 2017 National Election from the polling to the declaration of candidates.
OC’s Highlands Regional Manager, Bill Kapen, warned the observers and voters about bribery and the damages it can cause to the integrity of the polls.
The observers will be visiting polling areas to collect data on whether basic electoral rights are being protected, and if procedures are being followed.