The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, and Member for Ialibu-Pangia, Peter O’Neill, has placed his vote for the 2017 National Election in the village of Kawo in his district.
After completing formalities and then voting, the Prime Minister congratulated the public around the country for their conduct during the campaign and current voting period, and said enabling all eligible voters the opportunity to vote was essential.
“We have one of the most robust and stable democracies in the world, our people are passionate about politics and who they elect to represent them,” PM O’Neill said to cheers of “Peter-one!” from thousands of people from Kawo and surrounding villages who came to greet him.
“The Electoral Commission must do everything possible, for every citizen that wants to vote in this Election, to be able to do so by allowing 2012 and the new roles to be used together to identify people voting.
“This an important election and people make their choice once every five years, so they must be given the opportunity to exercise that right.
“The electoral roll is the responsibility of the Electoral Commission and is independent.
“This is the case in Papua New Guinea as is the same for relevant electoral authorities in Australia and around the world.
“Failed Leaders can make any claim they like, but they never back this up with proof.
“That is the luxury people like Mekere have, they can make whatever false claim they like and are never held accountable.
“The delays in polling have been unfortunate, but it is better to get all procedures in place before the first vote is cast.
“Papua New Guinea is also changing and we are seeing this in the conduct of this election.
“The past three elections had seen violence and disruption, while this election has been calm and peaceful.
“It is high time that the failed leaders, who just want to criticise and talk our democracy down, took a look around them and get behind the electoral process.
“The outcome of this election is in the hands of the people of our Nation, and we look forward to the successful conclusion of voting and the election of the new Parliament.”