Somare: illegal ballot boxes is start of terrible trend in PNG
The Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare raised concerns over the confiscation of illegal ballot boxes belonging to certain outgoing members of parliament in different parts of the country over the weekend.
Sir Michael said, “This is the start of a terrible trend in the country and should not be tolerated.
“I call on the Ombudsman Commission and the Office of the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates to investigate this issue and immediately disqualify these members of parliament from contesting in these elections.
“I commend the Defence Force for being vigilant and detecting these illegal activities. I believe there are more of these entries taking place in other ports around the country and call on the cooperation of customs, port authorities and other appropriate departments to uncover more of these inappropriate actions.
“I call on citizens who know of candidates faking ballot papers with illegal ballot boxes to come forward and report these incidents to authorities such as police, the Offices of the Ombudsman Commission and OLIPPAC.
“It is inappropriate for anyone aspiring to represent his people to behave in such an illegal and corrupt manner.
“I urge the people of Papua New Guinea to vote candidates that do not participate in corrupt practices to be your representatives. A five-year term is a long time in government and your electorates will undoubtedly suffer if you tolerate such unscrupulous individuals. Please vote wisely.
“There is no need for sitting members of parliament to be faking ballot papers and importing illegal ballot boxes if you have carried out your mandate appropriately over the last five year term.
“As members of parliament we must accept that it is the will of our people that determines whether or not we remain in office. It is unacceptable for members of parliament or any aspiring candidate to use illegal means to represent a constituency.
“I urge those individuals to accept the charges that will be laid against you and allow polling and counting to proceed unhindered so the elections can be completed successfully and law abiding candidates can continue the race without interruption and in the best interest of Papua New Guinea,” said Sir Michael.
M T SOMARE GCL GCMG CH CF KStJ