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ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER ACKNOWLEDGES CHURCHES AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANISATIONS FOR THEIR ROLES IN ELECTION 2012

The Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen today expressed his utmost gratitude and appreciation to the churches, community-based organizations, media, and temporary poll workers for their part in ensuring the successful and peaceful outcome of 2012 National General Elections.

“Churches in particular through the Operation Brukim Skru dedicated the 2012 elections to God and prayed for divine intervention and surely the good Lord heard their prayers,” he said.

Mr. Trawen said community-based organizations played an important role in working along with the PNGEC in delivering voter education and awareness messages as well as civic education and awareness messages on good governance and cross-cutting issues like gender and HIV-AIDS.

“Voter education was crucial in determining the successful outcome of the elections and community-based organizations who are our partners in election awareness delivered PNGEC’s key election awareness messages.

“The result is that voters in the 2012 elections made informed choices on the ballot papers and this was clearly reflected in the election results.

“Voters’ and candidates’ behavior steadily changed in these elections compared to 2007 and we expect to see an improved in the next elections in 2017,” Mr. Trawen said.

Commissioner Trawen also thanked many temporary poll workers and counting officials throughout the country that assisted PNGEC in successfully conducting and concluding the 2012 elections.

He further acknowledged the role of the media in the coverage of the 2012 elections and thanked them for their tireless efforts in reporting election and election-related issues and results to the people of PNG as well as the international community. “I want to place on record my deepest appreciation to you media for having played a significant role in disseminating election news and results to the people of Papua New Guinea” he concluded.

APPROVED FOR RELEASE

ANDREW S. TRAWEN, CMG, MBE

ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

Friday 02 August, 2012

MEDIA RELEASE

 

EXTENSION OF DATE FOR THE RETURN OF WRITS IN THE 2012 GENERAL ELECTIONS WAS DONE ACCORDING TO LAW

 

Papua New Guinea’s Electoral Commission today reaffirmed yesterday’s Return of Writs for the 2012 general elections as legal and in accordance with the Constitution.

Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, said the requirements of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections were complied, including the extension of the date for the Return of the Writs for the 2012 general election for one week to yesterday August 1st, 2012.

Mr Trawen said there has been a bad misinterpretation creating anxiety and uncertainty among the public on the issue of the Return of Writs when he returned 106 Writs to the Governor General yesterday.

 “The Governor General extended the original date fixed under the Constitution for the Return of Writs from July 27, 2012 to August 1, 2012,” Mr Trawen explained.

“And my advice contained in the Government Gazette No. G277 of July 31, 2012 as a Constitutional Office Holder responsible for the conduct of National Parliament and Local-Level Government elections is, I only advise the Governor General on election matters.

“As such I used my powers to advise the Governor General to further extend the date for Return of Writs for ONLY the Western Highlands, Enga and the National Capital District. That advice also covered Jiwaka, Chimbu and Eastern Highlands provincial electorates I case counting does not end by Friday 03rd August.

“I will advise and place before His Excellency the five remaining writs, to be returned at a later date as specified in the Instrument signed on Tuesday by the Governor General.

“Where special circumstances arise like delay in completing the scrutiny as per Section 81 Sub-Section 3 of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections, the Writs were returned after the date fixed for Return of Writs yesterday on August 1, 2012.

“Secondly a precedent was set in 2007 when the Writ for Western Highland Provincial Electorate was returned on August 6, 2007 when counting was still in progress whilst the majority from the rest of the country was returned on July 30, 2007.

“With the precedent set in 2007, my advice to the Governor General for the Return of Writs for the 108 seats, and excluding the three remaining provincial electorates of Western Highlands, National Capital District and Enga are being executed accordingly.

Mr Trawen clarified that Electoral Commission has NO role in calling of the First Parliamentary sitting as provided under the Constitution and he stated “the Commission’s function cease as soon as the Writs are returned to the Governor-General”

“As such all legal requirements have been fulfilled for the election purposes,” Mr. Trawen said.

 

ANDREW S. TRAWEN, CMG, MBE

ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

Thursday 02 August, 2012

RETURN OF WRITS CEREMONY

FOR THE

2012 NATIONAL GENERAL ELECTIONS

 

Wednesday 01st August 2012

 

SPEECH

BY

 

ANDREW S. TRAWEN, CMG, MBE

ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

 

Good afternoon all and thank you for coming…

As you all have witnessed a while ago, I have just returned the Writs for ALL the 89 Open electorates and 18 Provincial electorates to His Excellency the Governor General Sir Michael Ogio.

The date for the return of Writs for Western Highlands, Enga and NCD Provincial electorates has been further extended to next Wednesday 08th August, 2012 which I announced yesterday at the Media Centre.

I have given advice to His Excellency the Governor General yesterday morning and that advice also covers Chimbu, Jiwaka and Eastern Highlands Provincial electorates in case they run out of time with their eliminations.

Fortunately, the Jiwaka Provincial electorate made its declaration at 9:30 this morning with the Writ returned as well.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Return of Writs ceremony today officially concludes the 2012 National General Elections in this beautiful country of ours, Papua New Guinea.

A lot have been said and done before the Issue of Writs, during polling and counting BUT all these come to an end today – another milestone achieved for democratic elections in PNG.

Many critics have written off the 2012 National General Elections as in 2007 due to a number of factors; the main one being issues surrounding the 2012 Electoral Roll.

Equally, many citizens were confident that the 2012 elections would be successfully conducted.

Despite opposing views, doubts and criticisms coupled with the political impasse, the PNG Electoral Commission remained confident of successfully delivering the 2012 elections regarded as the most crucial elections in the short history of our country.

And off course, we did with the commitment and excellent support of our stakeholders, partners and international friends.

I cannot express my gratitude enough to all those who contribution in one way or another in ensuring the outcome of these elections is successful other than a simply word of thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, a total of 3,443 candidates put their hands up for the 9th Parliament and nominated to contest the 2012 National General Elections.

From the 3,443 candidates a record number of 134 were female candidates compared to 101 in 2007 which is a very encouraging sign that our womenfolk are now actively participating in the democratic electoral process in PNG.

Out of the 134 female candidates that contested the 2012 elections only two (2) women came out winners in the male-dominated field.

Congratulations to our two female Members of Parliament Loujaya Toni – Member-elect for Lae Open and Delilah Pueka Gore – Member-elect for Sohe Open.

Meantime, a total of 2,198 candidates contested the 2012 elections as Independents of which only 15 have won.

From the 1,245 candidates endorsed by the 42 registered political parties 89 of them have won.

Now, looking at the turn-over of Members of Parliament, out of the 107 Seats declared excluding Western Highlands, Enga and NCD Provincial Seats, a total of 67 new Members some of whom are old faces have been elected into the 9th Parliament.

This means that so far only 40 sitting MPs have been re-elected.

In percentage, 63% are new faces in Parliament while 37% are re-elected MPs.

A looking at the performances of individual political parties in the 2012 elections…

It is now evident that the Political Party that has now secured most Members is the People’s National Congress Party with 27 so far equaling the record set by National Alliance Party in the 2007 elections.

Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party secured the second highest numbers of 11 Seats.

The others political parties that won seats include:

  • PNG Party 8
  • National Alliance and United Resources Party 7 each
  • People’s Progress Party 6
  • People’s Party 4 and
  • Coalition for Reform Party, Melanesian Liberal Party, People’s United Assembly Party, Social Democratic Party, New Generation Party and People’s Movement For Change Party have 2 Members each.

Political Parties that have only one (1) winning candidate include Indigenous People’s Party, Our Development Party, Pangu, PNG Constitutional Democratic Party, PNG Country Party, People’s Democratic Movement, Stars Alliance Party and United Party.

Ladies and gentlemen, you may ask: How much did it cost to conduct such a massive exercise?

The PNG Electoral Commission had submitted a budget of K240 million which identified all requirements to pay for the costs associated with preparing for and conducting the 2012 National Parliament Elections.

Initially, the Commission was only appropriated K180 million leaving a funding shortfall of K60 million. However, the National Government appropriated additional funding of K10 million last month to meet the shortfalls.

This has forced the Commission to do away with electronic verification of ballots as it was not able to purchase all necessary electronic equipment required to do electronic counting nationwide.

And this was one of contributing factors in the slow progress and conclusion of counting nationwide resulting in the late return of Writs.

As the Electoral Commissioner, I must thank and congratulate you the people of Papua New Guinea for ensuring that the outcome of these elections is successful from campaigning to counting and the eventual declaration of results.

At this juncture I would like to acknowledge stakeholders that have worked in collaboration with the PNG Electoral Commission in the successful delivery of the 2012 elections.

Firstly, the immense support of our three (3) disciplined forces – Police, Defence and Correctional Services – for their undivided support, commitment and high level of professionalism in providing election security for polling teams, ballot boxes, election officials, counting officials and counting centers.

To the Joint Task Force Command Post based in Mt. Hagen and all security personnel deployed for election 2012 security operations, thank you for a job well done and I salute you all.

Further, I would like to express my greatest and deepest appreciation to our international friends for their invaluable support to PNG in staging this national event.

Firstly, I would like to thank are our closest neighbors – Australia and Zealand.

The invaluable assistance from Australia and New Zealand in providing the much needed logistical support and personnel, especially the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Zealand Air Force for the 6 helicopters, the C130s, C17 and King Air aircraft went a long way in transporting polling teams, election materials and security personnel.

Bad weather conditions, unfortunately, played havoc and have been the major cause of delays in polling in most electorates throughout the country.

I would also like to sincerely thank the Government and people of Great Britain for their valuable assistance in providing funding to the tune of 300,000 British Pounds (PGK500,000) for the PNGEC Media Centre where I have been holding me regular media briefings during the elections.

The Republic of Korea also assisted by purchasing and supplying some 30 computers to the PNGEC and I also acknowledge their contribution.

Despite minor hiccups in certain electorates, I am pleased indeed to inform you all that the general outcome of the 2012 National General Elections has been very successful.

The theme for the 2012 elections is FREE, FAIR and SAFE elections. And for sure these elections did not fail or aborted; they have been successfully completed.

PNGEC’s Information and Community Awareness Branch with funding support from AusAID’s Electoral Support Program conducted massive voter information and education as well as civic awareness exercise via all mediums throughout the country in collaboration with almost 100 Civil Society Organizations.

The results of these awareness exercises indicate that the level of voter education and behavior has steadily increased from the 2007 elections and we hope to see more improvement in the next elections in 2017.

Last but not the least, I would like thank you media for your tireless efforts in keeping the nation and our international neighbors informed about election 2012 from the Issue of Writs on May 18th to the Return of Writs today Wednesday 01st August 2012.

I commend you all as stakeholders in these elections for a job well done in your media coverage.

Ladies and gentlemen, that brings to conclusion my media briefing for this afternoon at the Return of Writs ceremony which officially concluded the 2012 National General Elections in Papua New Guinea.

 

THANK YOU

ELECTION 2012 MEDIA BRIEFING

Good afternoon all and welcome to this afternoon’s briefing for the 2012 National General Elections.

So far a total of 91 declarations have been made nationwide with only 20 electorates to go and they are electorates in only five (5) provinces - Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands and NCD.

We expect a few more declarations later this afternoon and tomorrow as we draw closer to the date for the Return of Writs on Wednesday 01st July.

This morning a declaration was made for the Madang Provincial Seat with former Governor Jim Kas mustering the numbers to oust sitting MP Sir Arnold Amet.

The same story was for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville where sitting MP and Governor Fidelis Semoso was ousted by newcomer Joe Lera to claim the Provincial Seat.

On the Return of the Writs…

So far a total of 73 Writs have been returned. And a total of 38 Writs are yet to be returned. My Election Managers in Madang and Northern provinces have advised me that the writs for the two provinces will be handed in tomorrow morning.

As an update also, the total count of new Members declared during the 2012 General Elections now stands at 51.

This is in addition to a total of 40 Members re-elected into office in 2012.

Bearing the above in mind, I once again appeal to those Election Managers, Provincial Returning Officers and Returning Officers who have declared their results up until today to please bring in your WRITS as soon as you can so we can all keep on schedule to handing them over to the Governor General.

This is because if we continue to ignore the importance of returning the writs, it will simply mean more delays in concluding this election which is something we do not want.

On receipt of the total number of writs required, I will then finalize my advice to the Governor General regarding his official invitation to the political party with the highest number of Members to form Government, as required by law.

Thank you again media for your tireless efforts in keeping the nation and our international neighbors informed about election 2012.

And that brings to end my media briefing for this afternoon.

 

APPROVED FOR RELEASE

 

ANDREW S. TRAWEN, CMG, MBE

ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

Monday 30 July, 2012

ELECTION 2012 MEDIA BRIEFING

 

Good afternoon all and welcome to Sunday's briefing for Election 2012.

Firstly, I want to respond to the issue concerning the Hagen Open Electorate. After studying the reports by Returning Officer and receiving legal advice from my lawyers over the last week I now announce that with the declaration already made for Hagen Open electorate by the Returning Officer and having considered my position in law as to whether I can affirm or reverse his decision, I am of the considered view that I am unable to reverse the decision at this stage. The declaration and the reasons for the rejection of the ballot boxes speak for themselves. At this stage of events, I am tied by the reasons given by the Returning Officer, Gordon Wimp, to reject the contents of the 21 ballot boxes. It is for these reasons that the ballot papers contained in the 21 ballot boxes for the provincial seat cannot be counted as well. I have spoken to the Provincial Returning Officers Mr. Joseph Neng this afternoon and he will now proceed with the Elimination for the provincial electorate. Any aggrieved party may take this up with Court after the return of writs.

We’ve made progress since the announcement last week of the need to extend by a week the date for the return of writs in terms of declarations.

Up until this morning – 87 seats have been declared; ten of those were completed and declared yesterday. These include those for the Gulf Province where our lawyer, Southern Region operations manager, were dispatched yesterday to verify certain issues before making the official declaration.

The ten from yesterday are:

Dawa Lucas – Gumine Open (PNGP)

Gary Juffa – Oro Provincial (People’s Movement for Change)

William Powi – SHP (PNC)

Koi Trape – Baiyer/Mul (PNC)

Wesley N Nukunji – Dei Open (People’s Party)

Benjamin Poponawa – Tambul Nebilyer (THE)

Anton Yagama  – Usino Bundi (URP)

Mark Maipakai – Kikori (THE)

Richard Mendani – Kerema (PNGCP)

Havila Kavo – Gulf Provincial (PNC)

 

We have 24 seats left to be declared – and I am confident we will have them completed before the deadline of August 01, 2012 which is Wednesday this week.

At this juncture, I am appealing again to those Election Managers, Provincial Returning Officers and Returning Officers who have declared their results up until yesterday to please bring in your WRITS as soon as you can so we can all keep on schedule to handing them over to the Governor General who will then call on the Party with the highest number to form our next Government.

If we continue to ignore the importance of returning the writs, it will simply mean more delays in concluding this election.

Today, counting for the remaining seats continues. 19 of those are now midway into eliminations while 3 are nearing the end of their primary counts.

The 24/7 counting rotation will continue to apply with Election Managers using a shift change system until the last 111th seat is declared.

As counting progresses though, I am aware all eyes are on two more women candidates who are running a race of their lives in the Eastern Highlands Provincial and Madang Provincial seats.

Let’s not lose sight of some of the positive outcomes of election 2012 as well – it has produced already 2 winning female MPs and now we watch with interest two more.

 

REGIONAL UPDATES.

HIGHLANDS: Simbu, Eastern Highlands, Enga, Jiwaka: should declare all seats by Monday.

SOUTHERN: Moresby NE and the NCD Regional are now into elimination.

MOMASE: All seats declared but more writs need to be returned to the electoral commission.

 

RETURN OF WRITS

Again, I appeal to my Election Managers and Returning Officers both Provincial and Open electorates, the WRITS must be returned as the earliest.

Thank you again media for your tireless efforts in keeping the nation and our international neighbors informed about election 2012.

Good afternoon. This is where I will take question….

 

ANDREW S. TRAWEN, CMG, MBE

ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

 

Sunday 29 July, 2012

ELECTION 2012 MEDIA BRIEFING

Thank you once again media for coming…

In the media briefing this afternoon, I would like make responses to some issues that have surfaced in the past few days.

Firstly, I would like to let the people of Usino-Bundi in Madang know that Returning Officers have NO powers to declare elections in a particular electorate as FAILED; it is the Electoral Commissioner upon advice from the Elections Advisory Committee.

Unfortunately, the Returning Officer for Usion-Bundi was threatened by supporters of a candidate and he was forced under duress to make the announcement to calm down supporters of that particular candidate according to Reports from Madang.

I have stood him down on advice from Madang Provincial Election Steering Committee and have appointed the current Returning Officer for Madang Open electorate James Apimia to complete the eliminations and make a declaration of the winning candidate.

For Imbonggu, Nipa-Kutubu and Hagen Open electorates, I have yet to be fully briefed and therefore could not confirm the issues surrounding elections in these electorates.

Issues surrounding the 12 disputed ballot boxes for Moresby North East Open electorate…I still stand by my decision and will NOT back down on it despite threats of legal action taken against me by Moresby North East candidate John Kaupa and NCD Provincial candidates Michael Kandiu and Ambassador Aiwa Olmi.

My advice to them is that if they are aggrieved then the only avenue left for them and is the correct procedure is to register their case as an election petition with the Court of Disputed Returns after declaration of the results.

The next issue that has come to my attention and needs to be address is the restrictions imposed on the media to cover counting in the counting centers, particularly in Gulf and Western Highlands Provinces.

I am disturbed to hear and read through the media about the media being barred from covering the counting in Western Highlands and Gulf provinces.

These restrictions are in total breach of our Code of Conduct for Elections and even denial of Right to Information as provided for in our National Constitution.

Provincial Updates

Chimbu – All the Open electorates are going towards the end of their eliminations are expected to make declarations tomorrow or Sunday. Only Chimbu Provincial electorate is going through quality checks before eliminations could begin hopefully eliminations would commence on Saturday.

Eastern Highlands – All electorates are now going through eliminations are expected to make some declarations soon.

Gulf – Kerema open electorate has completed its elimination and a declaration is expected soon so as Gulf Provincial Electorate and expect to make declarations soon. Candidates have asked for a Recount however, my position is that candidates can take it in the court of Disputed Returns after declaration.

Madang – Usino-Bundi to make a declaration later this afternoon with only the Madang Provincial electorate going through the final stages of elimination.

Morobe – Only Morobe Provincial electorate which is in its last elimination and a winner is expected to be announced tonight or tomorrow morning.

Jiwaka & Western Highlands – Going through eliminations.

Northern, West Sepik, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Southern Highlands and Enga Provincial electorates should make declarations soon as they near the completion of their elimination process.

Ladies and gentlemen, this brings to conclusion my statement for this afternoon’s media briefing.

APPROVED FOR RELEASE  

ANDREW S. TRAWEN, CMG, MBE

ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

Friday 27 July, 2012



Party Standing

Party Contest Declared %
PNC 89 27 24.32
IND 2197 16 14.41
THEP 72 12 10.81
PNGP 88 8 7.21
NAP 75 7 6.31
URP 48 7 6.31
PP 49 6 5.41
PPP 40 6 5.41
SDP 40 3 2.70
CFRP 15 2 1.80
MLP 5 2 1.80
NGP 27 2 1.80
PMCP 51 2 1.80
PUAP 29 2 1.80
PDMP 19 2 1.80
IPP 44 1 0.90
ODP 22 1 0.90
PANGU 60 1 0.90
PCDP 39 1 0.90
PCP 46 1 0.90
SAP 22 1 0.90
UP 20 1 0.90
Total 111

Declared Candidates

Candidate
1) Aide Ganasi
2) Aiya James Yapa Lagea
3) Akmat Mai
4) Allan S. M. Marat
5) Anderson Pawa Agiru
6) Ano Pala
7) Anton Yagama
8) Assik Tommy Tomscoll
9) Ati Wobiro
10) Belden Norman Namah
11) Ben Micah
12) Benjamin Phillip
13) Benjamin Poponawa
14) Benny Tipoti Allan
15) Bire Kimisopa
16) Bob Dadae
17) Boka Kondra
18) Camillus Dangma Bongoro
19) Charles Abel
20) Charlie Benjamin
21) Daniel K Mona
22) David Nui Arore
23) Davis Steven
24) Dawa Lukas Dekena
25) De Kewanu
26) Dellilah Pueka Gore
27) Dokta Fabian Pok
28) Don Pomb Polye
29) Douglas Tomuriesa
30) Ereman Tobaining Jnr
31) Ezekiel Sigii Anisi
32) Francis Kongu Awesa
33) Francis Marus
34) Francis Mulungu Potape
35) Garry Juffa
36) Gisuwat Mangere Siniwim
37) Gordon Wesley
38) Havila Kavo
39) Isaac Waigavara
40) J.Byron Chan
41) James Gau Gelak
42) James Marape
43) Jeffrey Kuave
44) Jim B Simatab
45) Jim Kas
46) Jimmy Miringtoro
47) Joe Lera
48) Joe Sungi
49) John Simon
50) John Thomas Pundari
51) John Tongri Hickey
52) Johnson Tuke
53) Joseph Jerry Yopyyopy
54) Joseph Lelang
55) Julie Soso
56) Julius Chan
57) Justin Tkatchenko
58) Kasiga Kelly Naru
59) Ken Fairweather
60) Kerenga Kua
61) Kila Haoda
62) Koi Trape
63) Komun Joe Koim
64) Labi Amaiu
65) Leo J Dion
66) Loujaya Toni
67) Louta Atoi
68) Ludwig Patrick Schulze
69) Mai Dop
70) Malakai Tabar
71) Mao Zeming
72) Mark Ivi Maipakai
73) Mehrra Minne Kipefa
74) Michael Bill Malabag
75) Michael Somare
76) Mogerema Sigo Wei
77) Nixon Koeka Mangape*
78) Nixon Philip Duban
79) Noah Kool
80) Paias Wingti
81) Paru Aihi
82) Patrick Pruaitch
83) Paul Isikiel
84) Paul Tiensten
85) Pesab Jeffrey Komal
86) Peter Ipatas
87) Peter O'Neill
88) Philip Undialu Nogoni Hene Nai
89) Powes Parkop
90) Puka Temu
91) Richard Maru
92) Richard Mendani
93) Rimbink Pato
94) Robert Atiyafa
95) Robert Sandan Ganim
96) Ron G Ganarafo
97) Ronny Knight
98) Ross Seymour
99) Roy Biyama
100) Sam Basil
101) Sasindran Muthuvel
102) Solan Mirisim
103) Steven Pirika Kamma
104) Theo Zurenuoc
105) Titus Philemon
106) Tobias Kulang
107) Wera Mori
108) Westly N Nukundj
109) William Duma
110) William Titpe Powi
111) William Tongamp*