I HAVE been thinking about the country’s election and the performance of the Electoral Commissioner Patilius Gamato.
In the view of a host of commentators, academics and ordinary citizens, his management of the election was poor and chaotic.
Many Papua New Guineans wanted a change of government as evident during the campaign and in the election itself as anti-O’Neill voting patterns emerged.
But an election process that was demonstrably flawed in many respects, and was credibly assessed as being corrupted in some cases, allowed the ruling People’s National Congress to remain in power with a greatly reduced majority.
As a concerned citizen, I want to write to the PNG Ombudsman Commission asking it to investigate the electoral commissioner for possible malfeasance in the performance of his public duties during the election.
These are some of the reasons I think the electoral commissioner should be referred the Ombudsman Commission for investigation:
Printing ballot papers outside the country (a national security risk)
Inflated numbers of ballot papers for PNC candidates in PNC strongholds
Many ghost names on the common roll
Missing names of eligible voters on the common roll
Suspiciously early declaration of some PNC candidates
Declaring candidates who won in dubious circumstances with many ballots boxes remaining to be counted
Not declaring some elections as failed when the evidence was overwhelming that they were
Taking over from the registrar of political parties under dubious circumstances and advising the governor-general to invite the PNC to form government
Failing to extend the counting period which deprived many people their democratic rights
Giving PNC an advantage by quickly electing the prime minister while counting was continuing
Election-related violence at the cost of many lives and great damage to property
The threat of civil war due to mismanagement of the election
Based on these considerations, I think the electoral commissioner has been biassed and has been unduly favourable to the PNC regime.
I believe he has not displayed impartiality as a public office holder.
I also believe he has been incompetent, indecisive, lacking in foresight and has compromised his office in failing to manage the election transparently.
Accordingly, the electoral commissioner should be referred to the Ombudsman Commission for possible corruption in the performance of his public duties.
And now a request to dear readers of the esteemed PNG Attitude blog.
Please send me your feedback on how I should go about referring the electoral commissioner to the Ombudsman Commission.
I look forward to your creative and insightful feedback to take the next course of action.