Electoral Commission

K500,000 for by-election

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the by-election was signed yesterday by Acting Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai, and NCD City Manager, Bernard Kipit.  

Kipit says there is urgency for representation for the people of Moresby Northwest.

“Our Constitution states that everybody in PNG must be represented. Moresby Northwest has been very unlucky, it has not been fully represented for the last four years,” he said.   

Sinai further thanked the Office of the NCD Governor for the contribution.

Recommendations to amend electoral laws

In February 2018, the Governor General, upon directions from the National Executive Council (NEC), commissioned CLRC to undertake a review of PNG’s electoral system within a period of 18 months; which has already be completed.

CLRC’s final report and recommendations were presented to the Prime Minister, Attorney General and key stakeholders in late January this year.

Terms of Reference that guided CLRC to undertake the review (inquiry) of PNG’s electoral system included:

LLG Election given 7 days extension

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato announced this today following approval of the extension by the Minister for Inter-Government Relations Pila Ningi upon advice from the Electoral Commission.

“As of 10.00am this morning I have written to the Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Pila Niningi advising him to extend the date for the return of writs for the 2019 LLG elections to next week Friday, 2 August 2019.”

Restraining order on EC lifted

A three-man Supreme Court bench discharged the stay order on May 31st.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said new dates will be issued soon.

Following the stay order issued by the Supreme Court on April 25, restraining the Electoral Commission from issuing the writs and conducting the LLG elections, the Electoral Commission went to court asking to have the orders set aside.

This application was also supported by the Ume Atzera LLG in Markham, Morobe Province, and the East Sepik Provincial Assembly.

PNGEC files motion against former Governor

Kool, through his lawyer, filed a motion on Friday, May 10, after the completion of the judicial recount of the Chimbu Provincial seat in Goroka on May 7 to have the results be declared void and ordered another recount or a by-election for the Chimbu provincial seat.

Kool alleged that there were illegal practices during polling when tickets with butts were discovered at the judicial recount.

He alleged that there were about 22,510 ballot papers with butts and urged the court not to accept the results of the judicial recount.

Chimbu recount time further extended

This is the second extension allowed by the court, after recount results were initially due on February 8 in the National Court.

The counting was delayed over disputes on counting venue preference by supporters. 

The recount results of the Chimbu Regional seat was extended from February, and due in court today, 3rd April. 

However counting continues at the National Sports Institute in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

Lawyers for the Electoral Commission filed a motion, seeking another extension of time from the court to complete the recount.

By-election court order being studied

This follows the National Court order on February 7th, ordering the first by-election from disputed results of the 2017 national election.

A Supreme Court appeal is most likely to be filed by the PNG Electoral Commission within 14-21 days as of the date of the decision.

While that is being pursued, the Commission will put together the costs for the by-election and submit to the Government for funding.

EC waits for K2.5m

It has also gotten an extension of 51 days to conduct the recount, as ordered by the National Court.

The recount that was ordered in November last year has not started due to various disputes over the recount venue, which was set by the Electoral Commissioner.

The results were due on Wednesday, February 6th.

On Friday, the Electoral Commission was granted an extension of 51 days – from February 6 – to conduct the court ordered Simbu provincial seat recount, and return the results for verification by the Waigani National Court.

LLG Election dates announced

Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Kevin Isifu. said this when announcing the dates for the LLG Elections.

In a media conference today, Minister Isifu announced the dates for one-year deferred LLG Election.

2019 LLG Election Dates

Issue of Writs – Thursday 25th April 2019

Nominations Close – Thurday 2nd May 2019

Polling Starts – Thursday 9th May 2019

Polling Ends – Wednesday 22nd May 2019

Return of Writ on or before: Thursday 13th June 2019

Funds used, recount yet to start

The recount has been put off, while the Electoral Commission and Police are in discussion over the recount location, taking security into account.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, told this newsroom from Lae, the National Court’s order was to have the recount conducted outside Simbu.

He said he will be in breach of a court order if the recount takes place in Simbu, adding Police will have to understand and comply with the court order.