Opposition urges Electoral Commission to be neutral

Opposition Leader Don Polye challenged the office of the Electoral Commission to be neutral.

He made this call in a media conference this afternoon after an article of the deferment of Issue of Writs for the 2017 National Elections was published in The National Newspaper on Monday.        

 “The Electoral Commission has become a yoyo and a laughing stock to Papua New Guinea, as well as to the international community,” Polye said.  

“Mr Gamato has lost himself, his personal and professional credibility and also his decisions and actions as the Electoral Commissioner of Papua New Guinea has brought into question the integrity and credibility  of the commission and the role it plays.

“The Electoral Commission is established by the authority of the Constitution of Papua New Guinea.

“And because it is authorised by the Constitution of Papua New Guinea, it is a constitutional (and) independent office that makes its decision without undue influence and without compromise or without correction from other authorities like the National Executive Council, prime minister or any other agencies.  

“The Electoral Commissioner is not performing what is required of him. He has not maintained the constitutionality of the office he occupies; he has not maintained the independency of the office the Electoral Commission, what he has done now is succumbed himself to the National Executive Council decisions,” Polye said.

Meanwhile, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato when contacted by Loop PNG said he will make and official statement later.   

The daily newspaper reported that the dates for the issue of writs may be deferred to May 20 because of legislations before Parliament.    

Parliament will convene for its last term on January 24.

The date for the 2017 National Elections issue of writs is April 20 and July 24 is the return of writs.

Loop PNG understands that the legislation to change the dates of the elections must be passed by Parliament to be constitutionally valid.         


Charles Yapumi