As the country goes into its second day of polling for the 2022 National General Election, Police Commissioner David Manning has once again appealed to the people of Papua New Guinea for their cooperation in making this election free, fair, safe and corruption free.
“It is the mission of the members of the security forces to ensure we have a free, fair, safe and corruption free National General Elections 2022. But this responsibility is not solely ours alone but for every citizen of Papua New Guinea,” Mr Manning said.
Mr Manning made this comment when he launched the 2022 National General Election Joint Security Task Force parade at the Sir John Guise stadium in the nation’s capital, Port Moresby, on Friday 24 June.
Speaking from Tari, where he witnessed the one-day polling for the Hela Province yesterday (Monday 4 July), Mr Manning said the commitment of the security forces for a free, fair and safe election is evident from the initial ground work done so far in securing the various communities for the polling.
Mr Manning said the three disciplined forces have a long, proud and shared history that predates the country’s Independence.
“We have stood shoulder to shoulder in our nation’s darkest and most trying times, from elections, to internal conflicts to natural disasters. It is these responsibilities that have been in existence since our forefathers that attained our country’s independence on 16th of September 1975,” he said.
He added the challenges back then are no different to those faced now for the 2022 National General Election and the three forces are united in their resolve to deliver a free, fair, safe and corruption free election.
“We have a duty to protect our constitution, defend our democratic way of life, serve our country and our people,” Mr Manning said and once again appealed to the security forces around the country to remain focused and maintain their operational integrity.
“We must not allow ourselves to be coerced, bribed, forced or threatened to act in the manner that brings the whole security operations into disrepute,” he urged.
Mr Manning said the election remains the largest single internal security effort in the country’s political cycle that requires everyone’s undivided attention, loyalty, commitment and professionalism. He said it will test the respective forces’ capacities and capabilities.
Mr Manning stressed again to the members of the security forces that the success of the election security operations lies in the ability to work with the people, understand their concerns and expectations and willingness to find solutions.
“We must ensure that every single person, our women, our elderly, those living with disabilities, those living in the cities, in the villages and to the remotest communities in all regions of our country, who can legally vote, must be given the equal opportunity to freely and fairly do so,” Mr Manning said.
The Police Commissioner once again appealed to the general public not to engage in any criminal act against any members of the security forces, polling officials, and supporters of opposing candidates.