Patilias Gamato

Gamato disputes article on voter system tender

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says there is no unfair play in the handling of Expressions of Interest (EoI) in the bid process which is currently being handled by the National Procurement Commission (NPC).

He was responding to an article in a weekly newspaper published on February 2, 2020, calling for investigations into PNGEC for its handling of bids for the tender NPC 2019-62.

Gamato bailed

Justice Teresa Berrigan, at the Waigani National Court House in today’s ruling, said investigation is ongoing and police are yet to compile his file.

However, she says Gamato’s case of fraud and corruption related offences, heard under crimes court, will remain, hence he will be subjected to court hearing.

The commissioner was charged and arrested for official corruption after police got a warrant of arrest on Thursday December 5th.

Supplementary LLG elections completed

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed that all the three regions – Highlands, Southern and New Guinea Islands – have completed their polling and counting and declared their winning ward councillors. 

Gamato said the NGI Region had all six wards in East New Britain declared unopposed, which means that no election conducted since only one candidate that had nominated. 

He said Hela, Enga, Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Chimbu, Eastern Highland, Gulf, Western and Milne Bay brought in all their supplementary election reports/returns and the writs over the weekend.

By-election planned for Menyamya

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says this is to give the immediate family, relatives and friends of the late Member Thomas Pelika adequate time to mourn his death and fulfill customary obligations.

“An adequate timeline between one to three months is often allowed for the family and friends to pay respects and undertake traditional obligations before nominations are formally called to commence the electoral process,” stated Gamato.

Court grants Gamato bail

The Waigani District Court at 6pm on Friday granted him K3,000 bail after being denied police bail.

Gamato was arrested and charged with a count each of official corruption, money laundering and conspiracy.

Bail was granted with conditions, among those no interference with state witnesses.

Gamato arrested

Acting NCD-Central Commander, chief superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jnr, said the arrest was effected today after police obtained a warrant for his arrest from the court.

Wagambie Jnr said Gamato's arrest stems from ongoing fraud investigations into a case of official corruption implicating the election manager for the National Capital District, Terrence Hetinu, in 2017.

At that time, Hetinu was arrested by police and money totalling K184,300 in cash were recovered from his possession on the eve of the national general elections.

Funding issues hinder electoral roll update: Gamato

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said this, in turn, resulted in a good number of voters being turned away at polling places, thus denying their democratic right to actively participate in the election process to elect their LLG assembly representatives.

“While we (PNGEC) accept blame as the election management body of PNG, I equally would hold the national government responsible for not providing the necessary funds to enable the Commission to update the roll in 2018,” Gamato said in a statement.

LLG Election given 7 days extension

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato announced this today following approval of the extension by the Minister for Inter-Government Relations Pila Ningi upon advice from the Electoral Commission.

“As of 10.00am this morning I have written to the Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Pila Niningi advising him to extend the date for the return of writs for the 2019 LLG elections to next week Friday, 2 August 2019.”

LLG elections progressive report

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says most polling should have been completed by July 23 or tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24. 

“There are minor or isolated incidents reported but generally polling and counting is progressing well.”

Gamato outlines the progressive report on polling and counting by provinces as follows:

MKA election funds released

The Government has released K1 million while NCDC has released K500,000.

Preparations for polling are now on target.

Commissioner Gamato said ballot papers have already been printed and delivered to the Commission for sorting and dispatching to the office of the Returning Officer Terence Hentinu.

He said the Motu-Koitabu roll has 16,741 registered voters.

The roll was also finalized this week and printing has commenced.

Voters will cast their votes next Wednesday, October 3.