By Emmanuel Pok
In every LLG elections, the Registry together with other stakeholders conduct an important exercise known as the 'election observation'. In this activity we form special teams to observe the participation of political parties, candidates, voters, supporters and citizens during the campaign, voting and the counting periods. Reports from the election observation teams informs us of the behavior and the way interested groups participate in the elections. Observing the elections thoroughly informs us as policy makers to make informed policy decisions on improving our electoral system.
The Registry's primary role is to ensure that political parties and candidates are well prepared to participate in both the National and Local Level Government elections. The Registry has invested in political parties in the past years to strengthen political parties and preparing them to participate meaningfully in elections. The 2019 Local LLG election was an opportunity where parties could participate and make known of their policies to the voters and also to recruit members to their parties. That was also an opportune time for the Registry to monitor the performance of political parties and their candidates at the very local level and our communities, and make an evaluation that will shape and influence our future work with them. The 2019 LLG Elections was an important election we observed, as it informed us on necessary improvements needed in our electoral laws, voting system and the democratic processes involved in that election.
The Registry has initially planned to observe at least three randomly selected LLGs in two provinces of each of the four regions of PNG. However, due to budget shortfalls and other logistical matters, the Registry was able to observe elections in the following LLGs;
Region Province District LLG
Highlands Western Highlands Hagen, Mul Byier, Tambul Nebliyer Hagen Rural, Hagen Urban, Neblier, Mul
Southern Milne Bay Alotau Huhu
Central Kairuku Hiri Kairuku
Oro Soe/Ivijitari Popondetta Urban/Higaturu
Gulf Kerema Malalaua
NGI New Ireland Namatanai Namatanai
ENB Rabaul, Gazelle Rabaul Urban, Toma Vuna Didir
Momase Madang Madang Madang Urban, Trans Gogol