More than a million ballot papers have been delivered foruse in this year’s Bougainville General Election.
Over 20 tonnes of ballot materials - including 1,025,000ballot papers and 16,050 candidate posters – have been delivered to the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner in Buka to support the elections.
The materials were produced in Brisbane and transported to Buka via Port Moresby to ensure the 24 pallets worth of materials arrived ahead of polling.
The transport of the papers cost a total of PGK1.36 million and it took five flights between Port Moresby and Buka to transport the entire consignment.
The operation was conducted in accordance with strict security processes to ensure the integrity and security of the ballots, while complying with required processes within PNG, including COVID-19 requirements.
This assistance from the Australian Electoral Commission, through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, follows a request from Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner earlier thisyear.
Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp said he was glad Australia was able to continue its support to electoral processes in PNG.
“After supporting the successful conduct of the Bougainville Referendum in 2019, we are pleased to provide additional logistical assistance to the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner,” the High Commissioner said.
Similar assistance was provided by Australian Electoral Commission for the last Bougainville Election in 2015.
Commissioner of the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commission, Mr George Manu, said he was very pleased with the continuing partnership with the Australian Electoral Commission and said Australia’s support was critical to the success of the election.
Image Caption: OBEC Director – Election Management,Desmond Tsianai (left) and AHC First Secretary – Buka, Clayton Harrington with the ballot materials in Buka.