Electoral Commission

By-election court order being studied

This follows the National Court order on February 7th, ordering the first by-election from disputed results of the 2017 national election.

A Supreme Court appeal is most likely to be filed by the PNG Electoral Commission within 14-21 days as of the date of the decision.

While that is being pursued, the Commission will put together the costs for the by-election and submit to the Government for funding.

EC waits for K2.5m

It has also gotten an extension of 51 days to conduct the recount, as ordered by the National Court.

The recount that was ordered in November last year has not started due to various disputes over the recount venue, which was set by the Electoral Commissioner.

The results were due on Wednesday, February 6th.

On Friday, the Electoral Commission was granted an extension of 51 days – from February 6 – to conduct the court ordered Simbu provincial seat recount, and return the results for verification by the Waigani National Court.

LLG Election dates announced

Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Kevin Isifu. said this when announcing the dates for the LLG Elections.

In a media conference today, Minister Isifu announced the dates for one-year deferred LLG Election.

2019 LLG Election Dates

Issue of Writs – Thursday 25th April 2019

Nominations Close – Thurday 2nd May 2019

Polling Starts – Thursday 9th May 2019

Polling Ends – Wednesday 22nd May 2019

Return of Writ on or before: Thursday 13th June 2019

Funds used, recount yet to start

The recount has been put off, while the Electoral Commission and Police are in discussion over the recount location, taking security into account.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, told this newsroom from Lae, the National Court’s order was to have the recount conducted outside Simbu.

He said he will be in breach of a court order if the recount takes place in Simbu, adding Police will have to understand and comply with the court order.

MKA reps declared

The last two reported declarations made today were Kirakira East and Elevala Laurabada.

Counting for the ward councillors and chairmanship of the Motu Koitabu Assembly continued into day two today.

Council wards of Pari Taota, Pari Taurama and Kirakira of Motu Koitabu East were declared.

Sitting ward councillor of Kirakira Arutu Bake was voted back.

Council wards of Poreporena Laurabada, Poreporena Lahara and Elevala Laurabada of Motu Koitabu East were also declared.

Directives issued to Electoral Commission

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato delivered this to provincial election bosses at the Electoral Commission’s 3rd National Workshop in Port Moresby.

It has been established that the elections for the Local Level Governments will take place next April.

Among the directives, is that the 2018 LLG election budget of K100 million be revoked and a new budget be set.

The decision from the NEC to reinstate funding for LLG elections is so the budget for 2018 will be removed and according to the decision, K150 million be budgeted for the LLG elections.

Commission given 18 months to implement directives

The Government has now put together a commission comprising of senior officers from the Electoral Commission, CLRC Secretariat and Members of Parliament to review the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections.

The Commission will be led by CLRC Secretary Dr Eric Kwa.

The Commission staff under the leadership of Secretary Dr Eric Kwahas has been given 18 months to deliver the Constitutional Directives.

EC unprepared for trial

The case, which was set for trial today, was further adjourned to Wednesday to allow the Electoral Commission to file the necessary documents.

Lawyer representing the Electoral Commission told Court that they are having trouble obtaining the documents requested by the petitioners.

The documents are locked up in a container.

They consist of the 364 presiding officers’ journals, list of polling schedules, forms 66 A and B showing the 34th and 35th elimination and the list of presiding officers.

K2.39 million needed for recount

Funds are needed by the commission to run the recount within the timeframe given by the National Court to avoid being in contempt.

Budget submissions have been put to the National Executive Council and the Inter-Department Election Committee.

The Electoral Commission told this newsroom K1.3 million is needed to conduct recount for the Central Bougainville seat.

The National Court gave two months from January 30 to do the recount.

Today, March 5 was the date the court ordered for recount to commence; it should end on or before March 17.

EC requests funds for recount

Commissioner Patilias Gamato is out of the country but has submitted a budget request to the Chief Secretary, Isaac Lupari, who is also the chairman for the Inter-Departmental Election Committee (IDEC).

A budget has been drawn up and given to the IDEC, who will liaise with Treasury and Finance to allocate funds for the recount exercise.

Given the timeframe ordered by the National Court for the recount to be carried out, Commissioner Gamato has requested for funding to be made available as soon as possible.