Amend constitution before raising election fees: Kwa

Chairman of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission, Dr Eric Kwa, says the Government has to amend the Organic Law on National and Local Level Elections before the election nomination fees are legal.

He said whatever decision is made by Cabinet is not automatically becomes a law.

Dr Kwa said this today during his presentation at the ‘Certified Practicing Accountants’ annual workshop in Port Moresby.

The Government recently announced in Parliament the nomination fee increases for the National and Local Level Government Elections in PNG.

Intending candidates for the National Elections are to pay a K10, 000 nomination fee, an increase from K1000, while the candidates contesting the LLG Elections to pay K2, 000, which is an increase from K500.

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said the increase was to cover for the increasing cost of running the elections in PNG and to relive the burden on ordinary citizens in paying for it.

During his speech on the role and responsibilities of the CLRC and how it could benefit the CPA, Dr Kwa said the recent proposal to increase the nomination fee had no legal standing as the constitution had to be amended.

He added the CLRC had no input in the decision.

“It must be passed by Parliament first. They’ve got to amend the constitution before the K10, 000 becomes effective,” said Kwa.

He further said “NEC decision is not law. You must comply with the constitution.”

Dr Kwa said the CLRC is the only constitutionally mandated office to review and propose amendments to laws ornew laws.

He said they will monitor the decision by Government to increase the nomination fee.





Cedric Patjole