Papua New Guinea holds its national general election after 5 years. During these national elections, a lot of problems occur including killings, bribery, increase in the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and millions of kina circulates at the ward level, not for development purposes but for retail goods. And in provinces like Enga, prices of goods and services double or triple.
These are some of the things that happen during the elections that researchers and election observers take note of and let a broader audience know about them afterwards.
As the Melanesian Institute acknowledges these problems, it came up with a plan to research and document the 2012 national general elections.
From May to July 2012, 6 researchers from the Melanesian Institute (MI), set out on a mission to document the 2012 national general election in the Kompiam-Ambum, Central Bougainville, Vanimo Green, Goroka Open and Markham Open electorates. The researchers comprised of three nationals and three expatriates including a young volunteer from Germany who joined MI in August 2011. They were sent with the purpose to learn and document the election process - nomination, campaign, polling, counting and the electoral roll.
Together with a few helpers from these electorates, they talked to all kinds of people involved in the elections including election officials, candidates, supporters and ordinary voters. They also conducted studies into campaign houses and election violence, and observed how the elections were conducted by the Electoral Commission, defence and police force.
The researchers are all back at the Melanesian Institute putting all their findings together. Many interesting things were documented about the nominations, campaigns and polling.
More of these and other interesting reports about the elections will be published in the Catalyst and Point in 2013, and will also be available on this website.
The tally sheets, results and declaration of the 2012 national general elections in these 5 electorates and the rest of Papua New Guinea can be accessed through the PNG Electoral Commission website.