On May 31, 2022, the Supreme Court in its interpretation of Section 103 (3) (e) of the Constitution, settled the legal position that a person cannot contest the National General Elections and be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he/she is convicted of an indictable offence that carries a sentence of imprisonment for more than 9 months, effective from June 25 2002.
The only two exceptions to this interpretation are unless the conviction and sentence has been quashed by the Supreme Court or the convicted person has been pardoned under section 151 of the Constitution.
The candidates include Ati Wobiro, who is contesting the Western Provincial seat, James Yali contesting the Madang Provincial Seat and Justin Parker, contesting the Anglimp South Waghi seat.
Wobiro was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to defraud section 407 of the Criminal Code Act Chapter 262 and Conspiracy to defraud under misappropriation section 383A, Criminal Code Act Chapter 262.
Yali was sentenced to 12 years in prison for rape under section 347 of the Criminal Code Act Chapter 262, while Parker was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for murder under section 300 (i) (a) of the Criminal Code Act Chapter 262.
In doing so, the PNGEC has invited the convicted persons to demonstrate that their conviction and sentence have been quashed by the Supreme Court or they have been pardoned for their crimes so that they can proceed to the polls.