Prime Minister Marape Calls for Enhanced Population DataCollection for the 2027 National General Elections

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has made a decisive call to Hon. Richard Masere, Minister for Administrative Services, urging for the collection of high-quality and precise population data to ensure the efficient conduct of the 2027 National General Elections. This call to action was made during a pivotal meeting on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at Sir Manasupe Haus, which brought together leaders of key government agencies such as the National Identity (NID) and Civil Registry Office, National Statistical Office (NSO), and the Electoral Commission.

Highlighting the critical importance of accurate population data, Prime Minister Marape emphasised its role in government decision-making, planning, budget allocation, and the effective delivery of services across all levels of government. The meeting, attended by NID Registrar-General Noel Mobiha, Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai, and NSO representatives, focused on the challenges encountered with the NID Project, National Census, and the preparation of a reliable Common Roll for upcoming National General Elections.

Despite these challenges, significant progress has been reported, particularly in the NID Card registration process, thanks to the adoption of new technologies and equipment. The project is anticipated to achieve nationwide completion by 2025. Additionally, preparations for this year’s National Census are advancing well, which will lay the groundwork for an updated Common Roll and the essential data needed for the 2027 National General Elections.

“I acknowledge all stakeholders in the collection of population data for the work that has been done so far, despite challenges. National Government stands ready to provide funding support to deliver a successful National Census and the Local Level Government Elections this year, complete NID Card registration for all PNG citizens by next year, and deliver a successful National General Elections, given the Ministry of Administrative Services now in place under Minister Masere,” stated Prime Minister Marape.

Further, Prime Minister Marape highlighted the possibility of implementing Electronic Voting in 2027 and beyond, contingent on the timely and successful completion of these crucial population data projects.

Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai underscored the importance of voter information and data integrity for National General Elections and By-Elections, which often follow Election Petitions. He mentioned the Electoral Commission’s funding challenges, particularly in handling numerous Election Petitions after each National General Election due to the need to engage lawyers and the lengthy case processing times.

Prime Minister Marape expressed his acknowledgment of the PNG Electoral Commission’s efforts and assured government support in providing necessary funding for by-elections and election petition processes, demonstrating a commitment to enhancing the electoral infrastructure and processes in Papua New Guinea.