O’Neill supports Panguna reopening under BCL management
Influenza pandemic: Is PNG ready for the ‘Big One’?

Doubts over independence of PNG election management


DOUBTS have been expressed about the impartiality of an election steering committee which controls funds for managing Papua New Guinea's upcoming elections.

A US$120 million election budget is to be controlled by the committee whose chairman is the chief secretary to the PNG government, Isaac Lupari, rather than the electoral commissioner.

A number of intending candidates were concerned that this arrangement could enable interference in the Electoral Commission's role in managing the elections.

Intending Hela Province candidate Raymond Kuai said the constitution states the commission must operate independently from any other arm of government.

"What is independence for the Electoral Commission without the Electoral Commission managing its own funds, determining its own operations, budgeting its own funds, as to where and how it must be spent,” Mr Kuai said.

“So in other words, there is political interference. The government of the day wants to diminish the independence of an important constitutional arm of government."

Electoral Commissioner Paulius Gamato denied that there would be any political interference in the management of the five-yearly elections.

He said the commission would be free to conduct its work impartially.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Peter Sandery

The dilemma Isaac Lupari has allowed himself to be put into is this - what does he do when the directions he may receive from the Prime Minister fly in the face of his responsibilities to the Electoral Commission, through its act and the constitution? Would he,like the piper, go with he who pays, or the Rule of Law?

William Dunlop


Peter S Kinjap

There were claims and indications that the independence of Electoral Commission might be 'politically' tampered with, manipulated, influenced and corrupted.

Isaac Lupari appears insane on many occasions including issuing directions to police when the university students were staging a protest march in last June.

He may have already infringed expectations of his own conduct in the public office he represents. People would be wondering if that committee is subject to the Public Accounts Management Act to manage fund money. The Electoral Commission is.

So as if tampering with the Ombudsman Commission, police, universities and other government bodies is not enough, he and O'Neill wants to go further with the Electoral Commission. Looks so creepy and sinister!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)