Electoral Commission

Residents unhappy with deferral

Disgruntled residents said many of them took time off from work to vote today and said the last-minute announcement was the first-of-its-kind, criticising the Electoral Commission for the lack of planning.

Soon after the announcement by the Electoral Commission at around 9am, police officers arrived at several polling areas in the electorate to inform polling officials to pack up.

Polling was already underway at East Boroko and Manu when they were ordered to stop.

K36 million owed by Electoral Commission

These outstanding claims have not been settled over the last five years and are now affecting polling in some areas around the country.

Polling in Telefomin in the Sandaun province, and South and Central Bougainville in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, have been disrupted due to outstanding claims.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato could not give specifics of outstanding claims for each province but said according to the Commission’s records, K17 million is owned to the general service providers.

Electoral Commission launches Media Centre

The Media Centre will be responsible for releasing all validated information during polling and counting.  

Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato who launched the media centre, said the centre will be a vital platform for informing the public.

Information uploaded from the media centre onto its website will come from the Presiding Officers during polling and Returning Officers during counting.

​Ballot papers arrive in 9 provinces

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed with Loop PNG that the distribution exercise started on Saturday, two weeks before polling for the 2017 National Election starts.    

“All polling materials dispatched to all provinces. Sensitive materials like ballot papers, ink rolls, candidate posters started going out on Saturday,” Gamato said.  

He confirmed the provinces are Manus, Bougainville, Sandaun, East Sepik, Oro, Milne Bay, Western, Morobe and Madang.

Gamato said the Australian Defence Force is helping airlift the materials to each province.

Issue of Hagen RO goes to high court

While this matter was filed on May 24 waiting to go before court, other candidates and their supporters took issues into their own hands on Wednesday and disrupted flights into the Kagamuga airport by sitting and protesting on the tarmac.

Air Niugini this morning resumed flights into Mt Hagen after Police managed to get the supporters out.

James Yoka Ekip and Simon Sanagke filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, and today asked the court through their lawyer to stay the decision of the National Court, dated 4 May, which refused an application they had earlier filed.    

Kumai committed to helping his people

Freddie Kumai said for too long the people of West New Britain, especially Talasea electorate have been neglected and have missed out on spinoff benefits from the oil palm industries.

"We have been missing out and it's about time we take back what is rightfully ours.”

 "It is our birth right and we must take it back," Kumai told the people at Valopu village.

Contesting under the New Generation Party, Kumai said school drop outs and family will be his main concern if he wins in this election.

Progressive figures see 2,614 nominate to contest

The Electoral Commission says these are just preliminary figures which will be confirmed and announced by Commissioner Patilias Gamato on Monday.

The Highlands region has the highest number of candidates 852 candidates contesting the 40 seats, Momase region has 719 candidates contesting the 30 seats.

Southern region’s 23 seats will be contested by 716 candidates while in the New Guinea Islands region, 328 will be running for the 17 seats.

East New Britain has 81, Autonomous Region of Bougainville 73, West New Britain 68, Manus 60 and New Ireland 46.

Nominees urge to be early says Sohe RO

This is to avoid a rush hour at the end of the day.

Speaking to Loop PNG Returning Officer for Sohe Open, Wesley Korapeba, appealed to all nominees to come early today to avoid a rush of nominations.

“We have sent out messages over the radio for those intending candidates to come in a bit earlier and get themselves nominated to avoid these last minute rush business,” he said.

As the time for nominations are reduced to hours, Returning Officers throughout the country are expected to receive a rush of nominations on the last day,

Young Okuk nominates for Moresby North East

The name Okuk first entered the corridors of Parliament in 1972 when firebrand, vocal and forthright Chimbu politician, Iambakey Okuk was voted in.

Later knighted, Sir Iambakey was noted for his forthright approach to issues of local and national importance and left a lasting legacy to the type of leadership, power and charisma he exuded.

However, the name had  disappeared from the political scene until Sir Iambakey’s  late son Tangil also contested in Chimbu but was not successful.

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.