Saturday, April 07, 2012

Prime Minister says no cabinet clearance for deferral of elections

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says Minister assisting the Prime Minister Wake Goiye had not received clearance from the National Executive Council to make a statement in parliament for the deferral of elections.
O’Neill has called for a special Cabinet meeting on Monday to review the report of the Electoral Commission and the chief electoral commissioner has been summoned to attend that meeting.
 O'Neill met with the Speaker Jeffrey Nape and Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah on Good Friday to discuss these concerns.
He said he understood why Parliament had moved to defer the elections by six months after MPs became dissatisfied with how unprepared the Electoral Commission was to conduct the elections in three weeks time.
O'Neill believes Parliament has not been fully briefed on the status of the preparations of the elections by the Chief Electoral Commissioner.
"The Electoral Commissioner's brief to me dated April 2 did not recommend deferral of elections,” he said.
“All effort must be made to assure security and integrity of the elections.”
There was outcry from Highlands MP's at government caucus meeting on Wednesday morning when it was learnt that voter rolls for all the 41 Highlands electorates had still to be processed.
These preliminary rolls were promised to be ready by the Electoral Commission for quality check by the end of March but it had failed to do so.
Many MPs from other electorates in Momase, New Guinea Islands and Southern Region expressed similar dissatisfaction with their respective electoral common rolls.
O'Neill said Monday's NEC meeting would review the election preparedness with a view to reporting to Parliament when it resumes on Tuesday.

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