The SOP was jointly developed by the PNG Electoral Commission (PNGEC) and National Control Centre (NCC) for voters and candidates to observe all COVID-19 protocols during the Moresby North West by-election under the Niupela Pasin measures imposed by the National Pandemic Act 2020.
It directs all people to comply as a way forward to control and manage the risk.
The PNGEC released a statement on the SOP.
Polling for Moresby North West by-election starts on 29th May and ends on 12th June.
Counting then runs for 21 days.
The Writ will be returned on or before 24th June 2021.
Acting Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai stated that COVID-19 protocols will be put in place to during the by-election.
Sinai has appealed to the public, amidst the alarming surge of COVID-19 reported cases, to follow all mandatory requirements, including wearing facemasks and observing physical distancing.
“I strongly appeal to the public, especially candidates, supporters and voters to follow the COVID-19 protocols at all times throughout the election period.
“You are all urged to abide by the mandatory requirements in wearing facemasks, observe and apply physical distancing, personal hygiene and keeping crowds to no more than 50 persons during the election process,” Sinai said.
PNGEC and NCC have discussed how they can collaborate and train officers to deliver COVID-19 safety awareness messages to voters during this election period.
Niupela Pasin compliance officers from the NCC will partner with PNGEC to ensure voters follow strict COVID – 19 protocols.
The order of draw is now confirmed for Tuesday 13th of April 2021, 2pm, at the NCD electoral office, after the COVID-19 controller’s approval.
Each candidates will be given a box number to begin their six-week election campaign.
The electoral law allows eight weeks of campaign.
“Unfortunately the order of draw was deferred twice due to increase in COVID-19 cases and the demise of late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.
“I now limit the campaign period to six weeks, which is minimum and also within the jurisdiction,” Sinai said.