2017 National General Elections

Female candidate joins race for Goilala Open

Chemical Engineer, Matilda Tagu Koma nominated at 2pm today, joining 10 other male candidates who have nominated so far to contest the Goilala Open seat.

Koma is running under the banner of Social Democratic Party. She was the third runner-up in the By Elections after the death of the late member, Daniel Mona.

Current sitting MP William Samb of Pangu Pati also nominated today, just before 2pm.

Samb is confident of retaining his seat and hopes that his performance as member in the past 18 months will speak during the polls.

‘Parliament is not the place to enrich yourself’

This was the remark from the country’s first Prime Minister and retired East Sepik Governor, Sir Michael Somare, to intending candidates.

“My counsel to those 4000-plus who are intending candidates, I hope you are sincere to the cause,” he said.

“If you want to change the lives of our people through elective leadership then stay out of business.

“Parliament is not the place to enrich yourself.”

Sir Michael challenged all Papua New Guineans to take ownership of the election and not disrupt the election process.

Workers unions unite with political party

The workers unions include Maritime and Waterside Union, PNG Communication Workers Union (PNGCWU), PNG Energy Workers Union, National Airlines Employees Association, National Nurses Association and PNG Teachers Association.

The partnership will represent a new chapter for workers' direct participation in politics, their voices heard and interests better represented in Government through the PPP.

Party leader Ben Micah said, when addressing the unions, that this will enable the workers to have direct input into policies and laws affecting their welfare and interests.

Leaders spend more time defending themselves: OC

Therefore the Commission is empowering voters for quality leadership through its election awareness program.

Making the right choice! A simple but critical message for eligible voters in the country and who better to lead the way than the watchdog, the Ombudsman Commission.

The high number of leaders referred by the OC for alleged misconduct in office shows that PNG needs leaders with high moral standards to take the country forward in the next 40 years.

Basil: PM is not telling the truth

Basil said: “We understand that the Prime Minister is directly controlling Electoral Commission.

“The proposed amendments regarding the National Elections that came before Parliament are not from the Electoral Commissioner, it’s from the Prime Minister himself and the ruling Party.

“We believe that the Prime Minister is behind the printing of ballot papers overseas.”

Meantime, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato recently confirmed with Loop PNG that their staff are supervising the printing in Indonesia and it is under control.

Party to challenge proposed nomination fee increase

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill recently reaffirmed his plans to increase the candidate nomination fee from K1,000 to K10,000, and fees for election petitions from K5,000 to K20,000.

Basil highlighted that the proposed amendments are wrong and unconstitutional.

They will mount an immediate court challenge and have that law stayed by the court, and determine whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional.

Basil concerned over proposed election law changes

Basil questioned the role and official obligation of the PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato in independently overseeing the success of general elections.

“Mr Gamato must be able to explain his organisation’s original advice and submission to the National Executive Council (NEC) that has provided the inspiration for these major proposed changes to PNG’s election laws,” says Basil.

PM promises efficient, effective elections

“National elections are the opportunity for our people to have their say and elect the Members of their choosing.

“The Nation’s Electoral Commission has been preparing for this election since 2012, and I am confident that 2017 elections will take place in a transparent way that will deliver certainty for our people.

“We cannot allow the wastage and exorbitant cost that was seen at previous elections to continue.”

Weed out ‘money politics’: Gelu

Registrar of Political Parties, Dr Alphonse Gelu, told Loop PNG that ‘Money Politics’ has plagued PNG elections killing this key democratic process.

“We have to fight against that particular phenomena which have greatly undermined the conduct of elections since the 1980’s,” Gelu said.

Reports and allegations of bribery, undue influence and rigging of elections are common during general elections.

There have also been countless bi-elections following successful legal battles exposing illegal conduct during National Elections by candidates.

Police prepare for coming elections

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Peter Guinness hosted the meeting in Ramu for his four provincial commands, namely metropolitan superintendent Lae, Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands.

He says while they focus on the election next year, their command's planning starts this month rather than just before the elections.

"I have gathered all my Provincial Police Commanders and Police Station Commanders as well as the line managers to plan for our election operations next year,” says ACP Guiness.