280612ABG concerned at missing names
By Aloysius Laukai
LOCAL media reports of an increasing number of eligible voters names missing from the Bougainville Electoral Roll has the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) concerned that some of its citizens are being deprived of their right to cast their vote.
Bougainville’s President Chief Dr John Momis and his wife are among the list of prominent Bougainville citizen’s names not included on the electoral roll despite having been regular voters in previous national elections.
President Chief John Momis urged that the Bougainville Electoral Commission under the leadership of election manager Reitama Taravaru should have ensured that all eligible voters in Bougainville had their names on the common roll.
“It is not good enough to say it was the citizen’s responsibility to make sure their names were on the common roll.
“It is a perennial problem of the electoral commission that despite having had five years to prepare and having had overwhelming financial and technical support from our common wealth friends, we still find ourselves being faced with the common issue of missing names on the rolls,” said Momis.
The president attributed the cause of the missing names in Bougainville to last minute preparations and lack of quality training of election casuals by the Bougainville Electoral Commission.
“The Bougainville Electoral Commission has failed us and I am disappointed that so much money has been spent by the National Government, the Australian and New Zealand Governments including the majority of citizens having made that extra effort to register their names, yet at the end of all these, we’re still faced by such issues,” said Momis.
He added that hopefully the current issues of the National electoral roll is not indicative of issues to arise in 2015 when ABG conducts its general elections.
Momis urged that the Bougainville Electoral Commission ensure that the ABG electoral roll is well updated and verified prior to the ABG election in 2015.
“This is when the people of Bougainville go into referendum and as the President, I want to ensure that all citizens of Bougainville will not be deprived of their right to cast their votes to determine their destiny,” said Momis.