Tuesday 30th May 2023

Papua New Guinea Defence Force Commander Major- General Mark Goina during the 2022 Election Summit at APEC Haus, in Port Moresby on Monday 29 May 2023.

Papua New Guinea Defence Force Commander, Major- General Mark Goina says security is a main part of Papua New Guinea society when it comes to the national general election.

When highlighting the role of the Defence Force during the Election Summit, Major-General Goina said Defence Force was part of the joint security task force which provided a supporting role to the Royal PNG Constabulary in 2022 national general election, in ensuring the election ran smoothly throughout the country.

“However the planning and preparation for security operations during the elections and any other big events needs proper planning, funding and timing.”

The Election planning for 2022, according to Major- General Goina, was rushed and lacked coordination.

Major -General Goina expressed concern over attempts to settling issues faced by Security forces, while at the same time trying to conduct the national election.

“Coordination is very important when you have all the government agency coming together.”

He stated that in order to lessen the strain and difficulties, security personnel should plan and prepare at least three years before the next election.

“People’s behaviors have changed over time and we need to be prepared.”

The Commanded further recommended that during the years of planning and preparation security forces will need to do more training in preparing towards the election.

He also urged bilateral partners of the security forces to support them in the initial stages of preparation and planning.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the PNG National Intelligence Organization, Terence Frawley, also expressed concern over lack of appropriate planning, adding, the lives of the security officers were unquestionably at risk.

“Time is needed in planning and preparation to identify potential risks and how to tackle them,” he added.

Mr. Frawley made this statement in reference to findings involving security and election-related incidents, which included clashes during elections, fatalities, injuries, damage to homes and other property, kidnappings, and destruction of vote boxes and documents.

“If we don’t prepare and minimize these problems, related electoral violence will continue to be a problem, Mr Frawley added.

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