Papua New Guinea press review. Internal policy

The counting of votes cast in the Goroko Open seat by-election is expected to begin on Monday, according to Officer Ekiso Kosanama. The ballot boxes from the 158 polling venues are being kept under guard at the police station. There are 179,000 voters registered in the three local level governments. He expects counting to take three weeks. [1]

Former Goroka MP Bire Kimisopa is leading the race in the court-ordered Goroka by-election with 8388 votes. Following the New Generation Party leader is Elijah Gomae from the United Resource Party with 4917, Pangu Pati candidate Aiye Tambua third with 4700, PNC candidate Henry Ame with 4100 and Jeffrey Sasuwo from Melanesian Alliance with 3378 votes. [2]

Justice Derek Hartshorn adjourned the proceedings instituted by Opposition Leader Belden Namah to Oct 7 in order to deal with papers under the new practice direction.
Namah had filed the reference last Sept 23. The reference seeks a legal interpretation of the election of Marape as prime minister on May 30, 2019. [3]

Sidelined Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato will now stand trial at the Waigani National Court on charges of misappropriation and dealing with criminal property. Waigani Committal Court Chief Magistrate Mark Pupaka made the ruling after finding sufficient evidence by the police prosecutors to support the case.
Police say on June 27, 2017, Gamato conspired with 2017 National Capital District election manager Terence Hetinu to pay polling officials with K184, 300. [4]

The Regional Processing Center at Lombrum in Manus Province may have shut down… but the four years of operation has changed the island province forever. Locals says the asylum deal between the Australia-PNG Governments has not only brought economic benefits, but devastating consequences.
The establishment of the Regional Processing facility at Lombrum had delivered a booming economy, jobs for the local people and the much-needed services that Manus province needed for many years. About 90 million kina have been provided as aid to the province through health, education and road infrastructure projects.
Although it provided some relief to the province that rarely sees such big funding, it was viewed by many locals as a modest slice of the total payoff to the PNG government amounting to over K1 billion kina that were spent elsewhere in the country.
In 2017 the supreme court handed down its decision to close the center after rendering it illegal.
For now, the province is going through a transitional period. Issues of inter-racial marriage between local women and the refugees, have increased over the last three years. [5]

Former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was in East Sepik to visit multi-million kina projects he had supported as prime minister in 2016. He met with Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare who said visitors regardless of political affiliations were more than welcome to visit East Sepik. Sir Michael Somare: “I want you to know that you coming here (because) it’s your home. You are mine (son). (Prime Minister James) Marape is also coming here (today). He’s also mine (son). We (in East Sepik) are good people.
O’Neill thanked Sir Michael saying he was happy to be in the province and witnessed development projects being completed. [6]

United Labour Party Leader Sam Basil is now the new Deputy Prime Minister replacing Davis Steven following a cabinet reshuffle. Basil also maintains his National Planning portfolio. Davis Steven maintains his portfolio as the Attorney General.
A new ministry has also been created with Member for Kundiawa Gembogl and United Resource Party member, William Onglo as the new Energy Minister. Prime Minister James Marape in a statement said this new ministry is critical as it will coordinate the development and implementation of benchmark policies to deliver power to villages, regions, towns and cities.
Other changes include the appointment of Lekwa Gure as the Labour Minister replacing Geoffery Kama, Jelta Wong as Civil Aviation Minister, Sir Puka Temu as the new Health Minister and Walter Schnaulbelt as the new Tourism Minister replacing Emil Tammur. [7]

Prime Minister James Marape today announced a major reshuffle to his cabinet

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