With only two months to go before the scheduled start of the 2022 National General Elections in Papua New Guinea, many provinces have only just begun the roll update exercise.
Jiwaka Province in the Highlands Region is one such a province, with a 10-day roll update exercise for all 214 Wards starting on the 16th of February 2022, and running till the end of the month.
Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) was informed of this roll-update exercise by the Jiwaka Provincial Election Office, during a five-day civic awareness from 14-18th February in the province as part of its Building Elections Integrity through Partnership (BEIP) Project.
The BEIP Project funded by the #PNGAusPartnership is conducting national civic awareness with Civil Society and election partners across eight target provinces in all four regions of the country.
“The reality is that administrative delays in election preparation has severely impacted the rights of Papua New Guineans and the situation will only worsen if partners do not share information and collaborate in the lead up to the elections.
Jiwaka, and many other provinces are only now starting to update the electoral roll, and if there is no clear coordination and collaboration, these vital democratic processes will sow mistrust in communities and create avenues for the corrupt to abuse electoral processes,” said Mr. Yuambari Haihuie,
TIPNG Deputy Director of Policy and Partnership, who led the awareness team in Jiwaka.
“TIPNG is calling on all Provincial Election Steering Committees (PESC) to include well-established provincial Civil Society partners, media outlets and faith-based organizations to ensure information is shared with communities and that electoral planning includes the views of citizens.
It is Papua New Guinea’s democracy and Papua New Guineans must participate to ensure that a free, fair, and safe 2022 National General Elections is delivered across all provinces,” said Mr. Haihuie.
TIPNG hosted a one-day election awareness workshop on Wednesday 16th February 2022, in Banz, Jiwaka, where members of the Jiwaka PESC presented on elections plans and preparations to the Civil Society Organizations that included; Callan Services, Meri Kirap Sapotim, PNG Tribal Foundation, Caritas PNG, Kosem Coffee, Voice for Change, Post Courier and NBC Western Highlands.
In addition to the workshop, TIPNG spoke on NBC Radio and conducted awareness with the following organizations in Jiwaka Province; Meri Kirap Sapotim, Christian Leaders Training College, Fr. Peter Fatima Secondary School, Seventh Day Adventist Mission Church – Banz, Kudjip Hospital, and the Nazerene Nursing College.