Electoral staff urged to check candidates for 2017

A third-term MP has urged the Electoral Commission to do quality screening on candidates opting to contest the 2017 General Election.

Kikori MP Mark Maipakai made the call on learning that most MPs in the government had criminal records or were once convicted and or declared corrupt for bribery by the courts.

“It was shocking to know these kinds of leaders running the affairs of the country.

“With them once being convicted or had criminal records, we have found them using political power to remain in power,” Maipakai said.

He said he reserved the right to withhold the names of those he was referring to, adding “the writing is on the wall’’.

He has queried the merit used by the commission in screening them before their nominations were made in the 2012 General Elections, saying such leaders should have been screened out.

“On what grounds did our people vote them into Parliament too?

“These so-called leaders have been seen gagging the legal system, compromising the systems of governance, breaking our laws, undermining the rule of law and democracy among others,” he said.

He said the Electoral Commission should learn from its past mistakes to filter the next Parliament line-up with a crop of leaders with no criminal records.

Maipakai made the remark at the Opposition’s Christmas party in the Parliament’s State Function room in Port Moresby last Friday.

On behalf of his family, the Southern region branch of Triumph Heritage Empowerment party, and his people of Kikori, he wished fellow citizens a Merry Christmas and happy New Year.   

Meanwhile, Mr Maipakai will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business at the University of PNG next April.

Press Release