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13 July 2017


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Chiefly about Electoral Commissioners (and for brevity, only surnames or last names appear.)

Trawen, it appears, made his way into positions of trust and pre-eminence, beginning in the days of chief electoral officers Bryant, Kaumi and Mileng and on to days of Electoral Commissioners Veratau, Lucas and Kaiulo, as stated by media officer Muapi. To Trawen, Raga suggests entitlement as ‘chief’ and warrants validation, Raga having been at the ‘pointy end’ of elections in PNG.

In a nation beholden to respect of leadership in tight contests, thus to exemplary leaders, the word ‘chief’ has overflowed from the days of chief electoral officers, and into days following Trawen, hence, Webster, O’Neill and others of less fame have added the word ‘chief’ to the title Electoral Commissioner.

Yet does it not state in ‘Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections No. 3 of 1997’, that
“electoral officer” includes the Electoral Commissioner, a Returning Officer, presiding officer, substitute presiding officer, assistant presiding officer, poll clerk, interpreter and doorkeeper; and
“the Electoral Commissioner” means the Electoral Commissioner appointed under Section 5 ?

Chiefly it states: The Electoral Commission shall consist of the Electoral Commissioner.

Thus, what more would the officeholder need or want, than to be chiefly just Electoral Commissioner?

Food for thought?

If I was a career public servant who contributed in many ways to the development of PNG for many years I would be offended if someone ridicule me in such a manner. Just putting myself in his shoe.

Question on pat now moves to ask 'who were the unfruitful candidates for the high office of Electoral Commissioner?'
How was it that other applicants were edged out?

I can completely understand why Mr Gumata (look it up) would spend time hounding the author of this vile calumny. It isn't as if he has anything else important to do.

Report by Cedric Patjole (LoopPNG) tells “Returning Officer Michael Are presented the (Moresby South) writ to (Electoral Commissioner Patilias) Gamato” whereupon the latter volunteered that “the people of Moresby have unanimously voted to keep (Tkatchenko)…”


Seriously? Is that a valid interpretation of the Moresby South count? Or a spruik?

Fruitful campaigning by Kirilyo and Skate counted for nothing?

If I remember correctly, the media described President Jimmy Carter’s official visits to some states in his country as a ‘peanut one’ when they graphically draw lines joining the cities together.

He was a peanut farmer before he was elected president so that’s what commentators were cracking jokes about. So the good president did not mind the joke.

Good Leaders always brush aside criticism and absorb jokes.

The EC, Mr Gamato must not belittle himself by taking Martyn to court. I don't think there is anything in it.

While @balkama5 reports Kundiawa Hospital now scaling down its operation due to lack of funding from PNG Government, @oldplantation suggests folk roll with lunches, ham it up without cheesing tom.

A tomato is indeed a beautiful thing Michael. It can either be a fruit or a vegetable, such versatility is astounding. It is a plant for all seasons.

To be compared to a tomato is high praise. The Electoral Commissioner should be flattered.

The dire threat that came Martyn's way per tweet from the commissioner's son is an entirely different matter. I think Martyn might be advised to report the matter to the police.

So they couldn't locate Namorong? Even on Twitter?

There is former lawyer in Australia who defended Laurie Connell et al who may be looking for some work in the near future.

That sounds uncommonly like the storm in a teacup when the newly appointed Zimbabwean Governor General visited Tanzania. The nation's political leader Robert Mugabe instructed the Zimbabwean media to resist the expression : 'The results of GG's visit were very fruitful'. The GG's name at the time was Dr Banana.

When does freedom of the press end and political censorship begin?

What were the actual comments Mr Gamato objected to and could being associated with such a well known, popular and useful a fruit be assumed to be libelous?

The photo of the Electoral Commissioner is clearly one taken many years ago. An alleged recent photo, shows one that appears to be rotting. I hope this Court Order can be easily squashed!!
My cheque book is at the ready!

Keith - to help Martyn in his potential lawsuit I've done a bit of background research. Here

It may be necessary for the court to determine if indeed Gamato was being called a fruit when in fact he was being referred to as a vegetable.

In PNG tomatoes are usually and legally (according to regulatory standards), grown, transported and sold in the vegetable section of most markets and grocery outlets.

I've no idea if the PNG legal definition of tomato is a fruit or a vegetable.

In 1887, the tomato reached the U.S. Supreme Court. It was ruled to be a vegetable. So legally, in the US at least, it seems, the tomato is not a fruit.

Therefore the plaintiff's claim, using the term 'tomato', may need to be thrown out of court unless the botanical definition of 'tomato' is differentiated from the grocery term.

In order to clarify to the court and to avoid further unnecessary arguments on semantics(such as is there really a difference between the letter 't' and the letter 'g') I provide herein this definition for 'tomato'.

"Fruit - in its strict botanical sense, the fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a plant, enclosing the seed or seeds. Thus, apricots, bananas, and grapes, as well as bean pods, corn grains, tomatoes, cucumbers, and (in their shells) acorns and almonds, are all technically fruits. [Encyclopedia Britannica]

This definition of fruit is very broad, and encompasses almost everything that contains seeds.

Vegetables, then, are everything that's left. This includes:

Root crops like potatoes, carrots and turnips
Bulbs like onions and garlic
Stems like asparagus
Leaves like lettuce and cabbage
Flowers like broccoli and cauliflower

­­In other words, things that do not contain seeds are vegetables, in the technical sense. Everything else is a fruit.

If the above is accepted by the courts as being an appropriate definition for 'tomato' then indeed Mr. Gamato was indeed being referred to as a fruit "the fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a plant, enclosing the seed or seeds".

I hope this pleases the court.

It remains to be seen what sort of seeds have been sown.

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