The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
 FORMER MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA

Media Release

2 July 2007

Papua New Guinea National Elections

I am pleased that Australia is providing assistance to support Papua New Guinea authorities in conducting PNG’s national elections.  Polling has commenced over the weekend and will take place until 10 July.

Since independence, PNG has maintained a vibrant and robust democracy.

PNG faces distinctive challenges in conducting elections, such as the need to access many remote villages by air. 

This year a preferential voting system is being used for the first time in a PNG general election.

Through the aid program, Australia provides long-term technical assistance to strengthen PNG’s capacity to conduct elections. 

This assistance includes support for the PNG Electoral Commission, voter education and financial management of the elections.

Under the Electoral Support Program in PNG, Australia has committed $11.6 million from 2005 to 2008, including approximately $6.9 million in 2006-07. 

Past polls in PNG have been accompanied by outbreaks of violence in some areas.  Australians in PNG and those considering travel to PNG should monitor the travel advice at www.smartraveller.gov.au.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555


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