Electoral Commission

Writs due, counting suspended

Enga Election Manager Anton Iamau confirmed from Wabag that counting was suspended at 2pm today and that the RO has resigned.

He said he was also caught by surprise after he received a call from Wailyo who told him he had resigned and had already left the province.

A copy of his resignation letter was circulated on Facebook. According to that letter, Wailyo tendered in his resignation citing reasons of personal safety.

Laigap Writs due Nov 17

Enga Election manager, Anton Iamau confirmed this morning that the status quo remains.

Polling was concluded two weeks ago, but counting was put on hold after PNG Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai issued directives for counting to be moved to Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province citing security concerns.

Iamau said his staff are only executing directions from the headquarters and the last direction received was to move the counting from Wabag to Goroka.

Sinai commends peaceful by-election

Sinai said the successful outcome of the election result is a testimony to people maturing and working together and making their choices on who they want to support as their leader.

“That’s what democracy is all about. When we follow and operate within the laws that govern our electoral process and have respect for one another and allow the normal process to run its course, we will all be happy with the final outcome. Because the winner represents the collective voice of the majority who have spoken through the ballot,” said Sinai.

Remaining Electorates Urged To Continue Counting

Commissioner, Simon Sinai made the announcement today, after advising that the majority of the writs of 73 will be returned to the Governor General by 4pm today.

Out of the 118 seats, 82 electorates have been declared, while 73 will be returned to the Governor General.

The provincial and electorates yet to return their writs to the Electoral Commissioner include;

Polling winding down across the county: Sinai

Sinai updated the media on the mid polling period and completion of polling in the country.  He shared that polling has started well in the 22 provinces and in 118 electorates. 

“Since we started on the 4th of July, the updates from last week till today show that polling has been done in 15 provinces across the country and polling is completed in 4 of the provinces which are Hela in the highlands region, East New Britain and New Ireland in NGI, and NCD in Southern region,” he shared.

EC Told To Comply With Court Orders

He said following the decision, the Attorney General has written to Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai advising him of this decision.

The Electoral Commissioner however is yet to make a statement on this landmark ruling and the steps EC has in place to carry out these orders.

“It is only proper for EC to comply with the orders to avoid being in contempt with the law”, he added.

The Solicitor General further explained that the EC must undertake due diligence and put in place a screening process for every candidate who nominates to contest elections.

Common Roll Inflated

According to the research, if inflation reaches 100 per cent, it means the roll is double the estimated voting population.

Laveil shared this during the PNG Elections Series presentation facilitated by the Media Development Initiative.

According to Laveil, the trends nationally revealed that roll inflation began at 6 percent in 1987, rose to peak at 75 percent in 2002, before falling in 2007 and again in 2017 to 13 percent.

Kompiam-Ambum Petitions Against RO

The intending candidates came to Wabag town on Friday to advise the provincial Electoral Commission office of their intention to protest the appointment.

Lukas Neah, who contested the 2007, 2012 and 2017 elections, highlighted that the same returning officer was named in the 2012 election petition, and was the reason behind their 2017 protest and petition to the election steering committee.

“We have written several letters; we have a big file which is with us and we will present to the Electoral Commission regarding the appointment of the returning officer,” he said.

Nominations Deferred

PNG Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai in his discretion as head of the country's election management body has deferred the nominations to allow for the grieving party of late Deputy Prime Minister, Sam Basil to organize proper after his sudden passing. 

Commissioner Sinai said, the United Labour Party (ULP) and all other parties are fundamental to the elections. 

He added that ULP is endorsing candidates around the country and thus will be allowed time to grieve the loss of the late DPM. 

Date for the return of writs remains unchanged. 

Reservist Public Servants Released For Election Duties

The police reservists have been permitted to assist the Royal PNG Constabulary and the Electoral Commission.

The reservist officers will assist over the period of 12th May to 29th July, 2022.

Department of Personnel Management (DPM) Secretary, Taies Sansan said these officers will be put on their normal pay for the period specified, unless the services of a requested officer are essential to be running the Department’s operations, in which he or she must not be released.