December 07, 2021 - 283 views

The Electoral Commission Appointments Committee (ECAC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Simon Sinai as the new Electoral Commissioner. 

Prime Minister James Marape, who is Chairman of the Committee, said the ECAC had approved to advise the Head of State to appoint Mr Sinai as the Electoral Commissioner for a maximum of four years or until he reaches 60 years of age, whichever occurs first, effective from December 1, 2021 and directed the First Legislative Counsel to prepare the necessary instruments of revocation and appointment of Mr. Sinai as Electoral Commissioner for gazettal.  

Prime Minister said Mr. Sinai was appointed after a thorough screening and vetting process. The Electoral Commission Appointments Committee deliberated on a shortlist taking into consideration provisions of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections. Following much deliberation, a majority consensus was reached thatMr. Sinai stood out as the most-preferred candidate.  

He said Mr. Sinai was the successful candidate because he came with 30 years of experience working with the Electoral Commission.  

“During his time with the Electoral Commission, Mr. Sinai was able to identify the most common problems faced in elections and initiated administrative changes to the structure of the Commission and the election process and management,” the prime minister said.  

“Mr. Sinai also used his experience and demonstrated strong management and leadership skills amidst a difficult budgetary environment that has been compounded with the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, and conducted and delivered a satisfactory Menyamya Open By-Election, Goroka Open By-Election, Autonomous Region of Bougainville Regional Elections, the court-ordered Kandep Open recount as well as the Moresby Northwest By-Election.  

“Also, under Mr. Sinai’s leadership, the Commission successfully trialled the first biometric voting verification system in the Kupiano LLG By-Election.”  

The Prime Minister said Mr. Sinai has been Acting on the position for the last 15 months and the successful by-elections he conducted showed that he had adjusted well to the challenges of the role, making him the ideal candidate for the position.  

Additionally, the Prime Minister said that to have another shortlisted candidate appointed would be disruptive to the progress made under Mr. Sinai’s leadership on preparations for the 2022 National General Elections such as the common roll update, further testing into biometric voter registration, and finalising other key proposed electoral reforms before 2022. 

Source: Statement PM Marape's News Page (06/12/2021)


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