The National, Friday 23rd March 2012
ELECTION officials in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville should maintain political neutrality during the June national election, an official said.
Bougainville’s election manager Reitama Taravaru issued the challenge when he opened an election workshop in Buka this week which returning officers and their assistants attended.
He urged the election officials to abide by the code of ethics and to avoid at all cost association with candidates which could question their positions with the electoral commission.
He said it could create suspicion and distrust among voters
and candidates.
The workshop covered all facets of successfully managing and conducting the election.
Taravaru reminded officials that they were on the frontline to fulfill the country’s constitutional requirement – giving the people the right to vote.
The election officials were also urged to familiarise themselves with the election by-laws to avoid legal actions by losing candidates.
Finance and budgets were also discussed in which returning officers were reminded to work within their activity plans.
That must be done to avoid over-spending and incurring debts during the election.
The electoral rolls for the entire region of Bougainville
should soon be ready for public scrutiny.
Bougainville’s Electoral Commission conducted two by-elections last year. The Tonsu by-election for the ABG parliament and the North Bougainville by-election for the PNG national parliament which delayed the update of the electoral rolls.
A total of K2.4 million has been allocated for the election in Bougainville, making it the biggest funding allocation in the NGI region.