2017 National Election

Electoral Commission urged to respect voters’ rights

Sir Mekere appealed to the Electoral Commissioner, returning and polling officers, the police and other government agencies to respect voters’ rights to vote in an environment of peace and good order. 

He warned against the hijacking of ballot boxes and the rigging of voting and counting.

Sir Mekere called on the Electoral Commissioner not to allow and repeat what happened in 2012 when declaration took place in some electorates even before voting had taken place at other electorates.

“Counting should not start until all voting has finished.

NCD electorates register more independent candidates

Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) for  Moresby Northeast Electorate accepted one candidate yesterday, bringing the total to six candidates as of 5pm yesterday.

Two from the six are contesting under a party – John Kaupa with PNG National Party and Andrew Mald with THE Party.

Two more nominations for Northwest Electorate were accepted yesterday bringing the total to seven candidates as of 5pm. Only one candidate is under a party – Eddie Aila with Melanesia Alliance Party.

Polling schedule to be released end of April

PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said they’re yet to finalise the polling schedule which he will sign off and have it gazetted and released.

The polling schedule will include the place and dates of voting at the different venues in the electorates across the country so people know exactly where to go and vote.

Issue of Writs today indicated the start of nominations and eight weeks campaign period.

Candidates can pay a nomination fee of K1,000 into the electoral commission trust account.

NCD security operations in full swing

Police have started since early this morning as the signing of the writs will take place at the Government House today.

Security is being guaranteed by police that there will be no disruption today before, during and after the opening of the nominations and signing of the writs.

According to NCD Metropolitan Superintendent, Ben Turi, more than a thousand officers are ready to provide security starting today and onwards into the campaigning, polling and counting periods.

The general public is advised to be security conscious and observant as today’s event unfolds.

2017 election process to start this Thursday

When the writs are issued, the 7-day nomination period, for intending candidates contesting the 111 seats in the National Parliament, will open.

PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato told Loop PNG this morning that preparation is on target and an official statement will be released this afternoon.

“We are ready,” Gamato said.        

The election nomination period will close at 4pm on April 27.

There will be 8 weeks of campaign period, from 20 April – 23 June.

Polling will run from 24 June – 8 July, followed by the counting period.  

Gamato clarifies confusion on ballot papers

Gamato has clarified that the ballot papers had already been printed before candidates’ nomination for the 2017 National Elections had opened.

“Candidate photographs are not placed on the ballot papers and are different from candidate posters,” the EC said.

“Candidate posters will contain candidate photographs and code numbers, which will be allocated after the order of draw when nominations close on April 27, 2017.”

The Electoral Commissioner said this was the same practice that was applied in the 2007 and 2012 elections.

T.H.E Party looks to field 70 candidates

Opposition and THE Party Parliamentary Leader, Don Polye, told media at the party’s National Convention in Port Moresby that around 70 or more candidates will be fielded in the coming elections.

He said however the candidates will not be fielded for the sake of making up numbers but will be selected based on their chances of winning through factors such as their support on the ground.

He said the number of candidates will be confirmed following the convention.

Sir Mekere calls for constructive debate on issues

“The time for whispering, for speculating, for telling stories, and for fear, is over,” he said in a speech to more than 500 guests at an Independent Team dinner in Port Moresby last night.

“My intention tonight is to set an agenda for a national conversation. I ask every concerned Papua New Guinean to think and openly talk about our future.”

Gulf Province Police to focus on borders

The Kerema Police Station Commander; Thomas Akasiki mentioned this after lead up operations toward the election starting this month.

Akasiki said there has never been problems in the past elections but for this year alone; they are focused on providing security along its borders in the Kikori District and the mountain regions of Kotidanga District because these are hot spots for illegal firearms and drug smuggling.

EC estimates 6 million voters on roll

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said PNGEC is projecting 5.6 million eligible voters to be registered, but estimates only 4.5 million voters would actually cast their votes.

He made comparison to the 2012 electoral roll, where a total of 4.8 million people were registered as eligible voters but only 3.7 million voted.

Meanwhile, Gamato touched on the issue of shortage of Claim for Enrolment Forms (Form 11) throughout the country.

“PNGEC had issued a total of 750,000 enrolment forms at the commencement of voter registration.”