Bougainville Elections Week One Update : Critics on international observers Bougainville elections

 

 

photoOBS

 

Bougainvilleans are now questioning the stance of international observers in this election after it has been seen and witnessed at many polling booths that the international observers are telling Bougainvilleans what they should do and not do during polling.

 As Bougainvilleans, they are aware that these international observers are here to observe the 2015 ABG general election and not to interfere in the election processes in any way or tell the people of Bougainville what they expect of them and so forth.

Polling is currently underway in all regions and special voting centres in Bougainville and on mainland PNG and the acting electoral commissioner for Bougainville George Manu is pleased that polling according to reports has been generally peaceful and people are conducting themselves appropriately.

 With Bougainville just into its first week of polling, it is now scheduled that polling have been completed at 153 polling places, 133 in North, 60 in Central and 148 in South Bougainville

Acting Commissioner Mr Manu instructions to observers (full detail below )

“They have the right to freedom of access to all polling locations and counting centres and they have the right to communicate any specific concerns they may have to the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner or any other competent authorities,”

Observers are not allowed to interfere with or impede the normal course of the electoral process and they must not prevent electoral officials from exercising their duties and obligations.

Their role in this election is reflected in the Code of Conduct that all observers had signed.

 

As part of the commitment of the office of the electoral commission between May 11 and May 26, polling is scheduled to take place in constituencies until the 26th of May 2015.

BY JENNIFER NKUI Photo Caption: Commissioner Manu talking to one of the international observers in Tinputz early this week.

The involvement of international observers in the election processes is confusing the village people and they are not happy about this.

After hearing of this yesterday, the acting electoral commissioner for Bougainville George Manu stated strongly that the international observers are here in Bougainville to only observe the election.

He clearly stressed that if international observers are doing what the reports states, then they are clearly going over the line.

He said international observers are here to observe the elections and are not supposed to be telling Bougainvilleans how to act during polling.

Meanwhile, the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner has clarified that the Election Observers currently participating in the 2015 ABG General Elections have an important role to play in the election.

This statement was made by the acting Bougainville electoral commissioner George Manu in response to questions raised by the people of Bougainville on the stance of international observers in this election.

He revealed yesterday that international observers have an important role to play to ensure the integrity, transparency and legitimacy of the election, saying they have been invited by the commission to participate.

He stressed that it is important that the election is seen to be in accordance with the law and international standards.

He said observers have the right to obtain information about the election at any stage or location.

He added that they have the right to enjoy freedom of movement throughout Bougainville without prior permission or notification and that they also have the right to freedom of access to all polling locations and counting centres with the right to communicate any specific concerns they may have to the office of the Bougainville electoral commission or any other competent authorities.

The acting commissioner however stated that observers are not allowed to interfere with the normal course of the electoral process and they must not prevent election officials from exercising their duties and obligations.

He pointed out that their role in this election is reflected in the Code of Conduct that all observers have signed.

He said if there are complaints raised about the behaviour of observers, his office will investigate the matter because he alone has the power to cancel the accreditation of any electoral observer that violates their code of conduct.

He will not do so as a result of stories or speculations but he will carefully investigate any incidents reported to him.

Polling is currently underway in all regions and special voting centres in Bougainville and on mainland PNG and the acting electoral commissioner for Bougainville George Manu is pleased that polling according to reports has been generally peaceful and people are conducting themselves appropriately.

With Bougainville just into its third day of polling, it is now scheduled that polling have been completed at 153 polling places, 133 in North, 60 in Central and 148 in South Bougainville.

According to Mr. Manu, data from the field continues to flow in so these figures are provisional and may be subjected to change.

When giving the polling progress update during the third daily media conference this afternoon, the acting electoral commissioner revealed that for today alone, polling was scheduled to have been underway at 182 polling places with polling in 71 places in North Bougainville, 41 polling places in Central Bougainville, 62 polling places in South Bougainville, 3 special polling places located at the Bel Isi Park in Buka town and the OBEC officers in Arawa and Buin for those living outside of their constituencies and 5 polling places for Bougainvilleans living outside of Bougainville in Port Moresby, Lae, Rabaul, Madang and Goroka.

He said polling for South Nasioi is Central Bougainville is scheduled to be completed today while polling while polling for Kongara and Kokoda is scheduled to be completed tomorrow.

He added that polling for Bougainvilleans living outside of Bougainville is also scheduled to be completed tomorrow and he is therefore urging all enrolled Bougainvilleans on mainland PNG to visit one of the five special polling places before 4pm PNG time tomorrow.

For tomorrow, polling is scheduled to take place across 30 constituencies, 14 in North, 7 in Central and 9 in South Bougainville with the additional 3 regional special voting places and 5 special polling places in Papua New Guinea.

Mr. Manu would like also to remind the people of Bougainville that throughout the polling period, OBEC will be issuing additional radio broadcast daily at 9:30 pm Bougainville Standard Time on NBC Bougainville and at 6:30 pm Bougainville Standard Time on New Dawn F.

Present also for this third daily media conference was the United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Walter North.

His Excellency arrived in Bougainville today to observe the elections.

140515 Commissioner Manu outlines Observers roles

Caption: Commissioner Manu talking to one of the international observers in Tinputz early this week.

OBSERVERS currently participating in the ABG General Elections have an important role to play in the elections, says the Acting Bougainville Electoral Commissioner Mr George Manu.


“Observers have an important role to play to ensure that the integrity, transparency and legitimacy of the election and they have been invited by the commission to participate,” said Mr Manu.

“It is important that the election is seen to be conducted in accordance with the law and international standards.

Mr Manu made this clarity following daily reports received of complaints raised by people regarding the observers’ presence at some polling stations.

People had voiced out that some observers were interfering with the election process.

“Observers have the right to obtain information about the election at any stage or location.
They have the right to enjoy freedom of movement throughout Bougainville without prior permission or notification
They have the right to freedom of access to all polling locations and counting centres and they have the right to communicate any specific concerns they may have to the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner or any other competent authorities,” said Mr Manu.

The Acting Commissioner however said observers are not allowed to interfere with or impede the normal course of the electoral process and they must not prevent electoral officials from exercising their duties and obligations.

Mr Manu said their role in this election is reflected in the Code of Conduct that all observers had signed.

“If there are complaints raised about the behavior of observers…my office will investigate the matter.

“I have the powers, as the Commissioner, to cancel the accreditation of any electoral observer that violates their code of conduct. I will not do so as a result of stories or speculations, however I will carefully investigate any incidents reported to me,” said Mr Manu.

There are approximately fifty observers from international observation groups, comprising diplomatic missions, inter-governmental organisations, civil society organisations and academic institutions conducting their observation of the election process throughout Bougainville.

In addition to the international observers, about seventy five national observers from local civil society organisations are also observing the election

 

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s