Papua New Guinea has officially committed $20.1 million toward preparations for the 2014 General Election after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fijian Government today.

A further $20 million will be discussed and dispatched in 2015.

The Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office, Pio Tikoduadua, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Fijian Government, said the assistance was provided in the true Melanesian spirit and it would contribute toward helping Fiji make the transition to Parliamentary democracy through the country’s first truly democratic election.

“On behalf of people and Government of Fiji we thank you and please convey our gratitude to your Prime Minister and the people for this very generous assistance in helping Fiji cross that line,” he said.

The Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, also thanked the PNG government for following through on its commitment made last year during Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s visit to the country.

The Attorney-General said that thanks to careful planning the Fijian Elections Office has already produced a detailed break-down of how all international assistance – including PNG’s contribution – will be utilised.

“Working with our international elections experts, we’ve taken the time to do things the right way so that we avoid donor overlap and ensure that there is transparency,” he said.

Papua New Guinea has commended the work carried out by the Fijian Elections Office.

This was the assessment of PNG Government’s chief secretary, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc who is in Fiji to work out the details for rolling out the assistance.

“I am very satisfied with the information provided by Fijian officials and can report back to my Government with satisfaction that the Fijians have told us exactly how they are going to spend the money”, Mr Zurenuoc said.

The first payment of $6 million will be made at the end of this month to the Elections Office.

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