Ex-Convicts Disqualified To Contest

Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai says sufficient information was issued for all citizens including those intending to contest the 2022 National General Elections to be mindful of the electoral laws that guide elections.

Sinai said, “One of the main events that take place prior to conducting election proper in any general elections is the education and awareness program, where we conduct massive awareness to the voters and candidates throughout the country on the electoral process.

“These pre-election activities are an essential part of the election preparations and the Commission through its Information and Communication Awareness Branch ensures that such vital message involving voter education and awareness is communicated to the public.

“So they understand their rights and the laws which protect and guide the electoral process. Voter education and awareness is an ongoing activity and the people by now should be aware or familiar with the dos and don'ts.”

In the statement released by the Electoral Commission, the election management body stated that the ruling of the Supreme Court in the Reference entitled SCREF No 6 of 2022 has now clarified the application of Section 103 (e) of the Constitution in respect of eligibility of persons wishing to contest elections.

PNGEC stated that the Supreme Court has clarified that Section 103 (e) of the Constitution operates to permanently disqualify membership of parliament of a person who has been convicted of an indictable offence, after June 25, irrespective of the length of the sentence and whether they have completed the sentence.

“If you are a candidate, and you were convicted of an indictable offence after 25 June 2002, then you are ineligible to contest the elections and not qualified to hold membership in parliament. Those candidates who fall within this category are requested to withdraw your nominations within the next seven days from today (10 June 2022).”

“My office will take necessary steps to screen each candidate who have nominated, which is about more than 3000 candidates, to verify their eligibility. Some candidates are known prisoners while information on others is scarce.

“My office will liaise and seek assistance from the Court Registry, Public Prosecutor and the Correctional Services and other relevant State Departments, to ascertain and establish the eligibility of each candidate, in accordance with the Supreme Court's ruling,” said Commissioner Sinai.

“If you (ex-convicts) insist on contesting despite my request, I will have no choice but to revoke your nomination incompliance with the Supreme Court orders, once your status is confirmed.

“A statement will be made, once a report is completed and compiled by my office on the eligibility of all candidates throughout the country.”

Press Release