THE ISSUE OF WRITS FOR THE 2017 NATIONAL ELECTION FOR PAPUA NEW GUINEA

-Post Courier 

Writs for 2017 National Election will be signed and issued on Thursday, 20th April 2017 at the Government House in Port Moresby by His Excellency, the Governor General of PNG, Bob Dadae for the 2017 National Election.

Issue of Writs for 2017 National Election

Under section 105 of the Constitution, a general election to the Parliament shall be held within the period of three months before the 5th anniversary of the day fixed for the return of the writs for the previous general election.

Dates for 2017 National Election

Dates for the 2017 National Election as approved by the Acting Governor General Theo Zurenuoc are as follows:

  • 20th April 2017                                Issue of writs and nomination opens
  • 27th April 2017                                Close of nominations
  • 24th June – 8th July 2017              Polling
  • 9th July – 22nd July 2017               Counting
  • 24th July 2017                                 Return of writs for National Election

 

Calculating Election Days

  • Nomination Period:                       7 days
  • Campaign Period:                          8 weeks
  • Polling Period:                                14 days
  • Counting Period:                           14 days    

This occasion marks the beginning of the electoral process for the 9th Parliament in PNG. This election will be another big event which will be coordinated, managed and conducted by PNG Electoral Commission in the political history of PNG.111 Seats of Parliament in PNG to be contested There has been some confusion in the media over the number of Parliaments in PNG’s political history. The 2017 Election will be the 9th Parliament since PNG gained independence in 1975. The fully pledged Parliaments for PNG started in 1977 to 2017.

 

9th Parliament of PNG

The Governor General of PNG Bob Dadae will officially sign and command all Returning Officers of 22 Provincial Electorates and 89 Open Electorates to conduct the 2017 National Election. The 111 seats in the National Parliament will be contested by sitting Members of Parliament and intending candidates in this year’s election.

  • 2017 – 2022           9th Parliament        Term – 5 years
  • 2012 -2017             8th Parliament         Term – 5 years
  • 2007 -2012              7th Parliament         Term – 5 years
  • 2002- 2007              6th Parliament         Term – 5 years
  • 1997- 2002              5th Parliament         Term – 5 years
  • 1992 – 1997             4th Parliament         Term – 5 years
  • 1987 – 1992             3rd Parliament         Term – 5 year
  • 1982 – 1987             2nd Parliament         Term – 5 years
  • 1977 – 1982             1st Parliament          Term – 5 years

 

Nomination of Intending Candidates

All Returning Officers will accept nominations from intending candidates and sitting Members of Parliament beginning at 4.00 pm on Thursday, 20th April, 2017.

The Nomination period will run for seven (7) days from 20th April and will end on Thursday, 27th April, 2017 at 4.00 pm. All nominations will be accepted at District Headquarters of the Electorate by the Returning Officers (ROs) or by Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) at the LLG Headquarters. Intending candidates are encouraged to come forward before the close of nomination to nominate as candidates.

 

Dates for Election

The following dates have been set for elections by the PNG Electoral Commission to conduct the 2017 National Election nation-wide.

Location Date of Mobility Date of Insertion Date of Polling Date of Extraction
NCD Sunday 25thJune 2017 Monday, 26thJune 2017 Tuesday, 27thJune, 2017 28th June, 2017
Kokopo   Monday, 26thJune 2017 Tuesday, 27thJune, 2017 28th June, 2017
Lae   Monday, 26thJune 2017 Tuesday, 27thJune, 2017 28th June, 2017
Madang   Monday, 26thJune 2017 Tuesday, 27thJune, 2017 28th June, 2017
         
All other Provinces 24th June – 4th July 2017 10 days of Polling
Highlands Region
Hela Saturday 24thJune Sunday, 25th June Monday, 26thJune, 2017 Tuesday, 27thJune, 2017
Chimbu Saturday, 24thJune Sunday, 25th June Monday, 26thJune, 2017 Tuesday, 27thJune, 2017
EHP Saturday, 24thJune Thursday 25thJune Monday, 26thJune, 2017 Tuesday, 27thJune, 2017
SHP Wednesday, 28th June Thursday, 29thJune Friday, 30th June, 2017 Saturday, 1stJuly, 2017
Jiwaka Wednesday, 28th June Thursday, 29thJune Friday, 30th June, 2017 Saturday, 1stJuly, 2017
Enga Sunday, 2ndJuly Monday, 3rd July Tuesday, 4th July, 2017 Wednesday 5thJuly, 2017
WHP Sunday, 2ndJuly Monday, 3rd July Tuesday, 4th July Wednesday, 5thJuly, 2017

Note: All voters are advised to observe the dates of polling marked in bold.

 

Polling Schedules

Polling schedules which include polling places and specific dates for polling will be gazetted and issued at the end of April 2017, a week after the issue of writs.

Campaign Period

Campaign period is eight (8) weeks as required by law.

Nomination and Nomination Fees

Under section 45, a nomination shall be in Form 23. A nomination shall be accompanied by the nomination fee of K 1,000.00 which shall be in banker’s cheques or the depositor’s copy of the bank deposit receipt evidencing payment of the fee into a bank account approved by the Electoral Commissioner.

Nomination fees for 2017 National Election will remain at K1, 000.00. The nomination fees must be deposited into the account stated below and the banker’s cheques or a deposit slip must be produced to the RO or ARO during the nomination.

  • Account Name:                 Electoral Commission Trust Account
  • Bank:                                   Bank of South Pacific
  • Branch:                               Boroko
  • Account Number:            1000489658

 

Under section 46, a nomination can be made to a RO, an ARO, a PRO, or a person authorized by the Electoral Commissioner.

Qualifications for Nomination

A candidate can be qualified for nomination if:

  • – He/she is a citizen of Papua New Guinea, and
  • – He/she is 25 years old and above on the date of nomination; and
  • – He/she was born in the electorate or has resided in the electorate for a continuous period of two years immediately preceding the nomination or for a period of five years at any time, and
  • – He/she is not insolvent, and
  • – He/she has not been convicted of any indictable offence after 25th June, 2012, and
  • – He/she is not under sentence of death, or sentence of imprisonment for a period of more than nine months and against which no appeal is pending, and he/she has not been convicted under the law or under this regulation, and where the penalty imposed include ineligibility to hold elective office; and
  • – He/she has not, in the three years previous to the date fixed for polling, been convicted) (right to vote and stand for public office) of the Constitution; and
  • – He/she has not, in the three years previous to the date fixed for polling, has been dismissed from office under the leadership Code; and
  • – He/she is not of sound mind within the meaning of any law relating to the protection of the persons and property of persons of unsound mine; and
  • – He/she has not nominated for another electorate in the election to which nomination relates.

 

Preliminary Roll for Nomination

All ROs and AROs will use the preliminary roll for the nomination period. Intending candidates are encouraged to check with the ROs and ARO to ensure that their names are on the preliminary roll before they can nominate. Under Section 23 of the Organic Law on Elections (OLE), names can be added to the Roll by the RO for an intending candidate whose name is not on the preliminary roll.

This provision will be used only for those intending candidates whose names may not be registered on the Electoral Roll.

 

Accounting for Electoral Roll and Ballot Papers

All provinces in PNG have completed updating of the Electoral Roll. Preliminary rolls across the country are now being objected and verified. After the preliminary electoral roll is objected and verified, names will be finalized and certified for use in the 2017 National Election.

 PNGEC has issued at total 750,000 Claim for Enrolment Forms (Form 11) to capture data from three different types of people:

  • Provisional voter
  • Transfers In and Out
  • New voter

Since 2017 Roll is the updating of 2012 Electoral Roll, the names of those people who have voted in 2012 National Election will still be on the Electoral Roll.

These 750,000 Form 11s were calculated at 3.1% growth rate per annum. In the last 5 years from 2012, the accumulated growth rate is 15.5% of the total number of eligible voters in 2012. In 2012 Election, 4.8 Million eligible voters were enlisted on the Electoral Roll. Additional 100,000 Form 11s were released to supplement the 750,000 forms so the total number of Form 11 issued for 2017 Election was 850,000.00

Our crude projection now is that about 5.5 million people/voters will be enrolled in the 2017 Electoral Roll. We also project that about 4.1 million voters will come forward and vote in the 2017 National Election.

The total number of ballot papers available for use in the 2017 National Election is 10 million – Five (5) million ballot papers for the Provincial seats and five (5) million for Open seats. We will issue ballot papers according to the number of eligible voters on the enrolment figure.

Any extra ballot papers will be cancelled before they are dispatched to provinces. We also have generic ballot papers available for special cases but these generic ballot papers be issued only under the authority of the Electoral Commissioner.

 

Candidate Posters

Under section 53 of the Organic Law on Elections, PNG Electoral Commission will arrange the printing of candidate posters within such time as the Electoral Commissioner determines after the declaration of the nominations.

Candidate posters will be printed in PNG containing name of the electorate; name of the election; name of the candidate contesting the election set out in order as determined by the Order of Draw under section 59 (OLE); candidate identification number beside a candidate and in respect to a candidate endorsed by a registered political party; the name of the political party; name of the leader of the political party; photograph of the political party and in respect to a candidate not endorsed by the political party, the word “independent” and any other feature desirable by the Electoral Commissioner.

Under section 82 of the OLE, candidate posters can be displayed in adequate numbers and at such prominent places as possible for voters to consult. Candidate posters will be displayed outside the polling stations and within the voting compartments for voters to consult and identify their choice candidates to vote.

 

Ballot Papers

Under section 65 of the OLE, a ballot paper shall have three spaces or boxes for a voter to identify his/her preferences 1, 2, 3 – either by the prescribed candidate identification number or by candidate name (or both).

The 2017 National Election ballot papers have been produced with those specifications as required by OLE. Two ballot papers will be issued during the voting period to each single eligible voter to vote. The blue ballot paper is for the Provincial Seat while the yellow ballot paper for the Open Seat.

 

45 Political Parties registered to contest election

Electoral Commissioner of PNG is a board member of the Integrity of Political Parties. So far, a total of 45 Political Parties have registered with the Registrar of Political Parties to contest the 2017 National Election under the OLIPPAC.

 

Over 4000 Intending Candidates to contest election

Over 4000 intending candidates have filled form 29 to contest the 2017 National Election. This figure is not final. After the close of nomination, the final figure can be disclosed on the total number of candidates that will contest the 2017 National Election.

 

International Observers for 2017 National Election

PNG Electoral Commission has received interests from the following organizations to deploy observers to observe the election in June/July:

  • Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Transparency International
  • Department of Australia Foreign Affair/Trade
  • European Union
  • Head of Mission – Britain
  • Head of Mission – US Embassy
  • Head of Mission – New Zealand
  • Head of Mission – People’s Republic of China
  • Head of Mission – Republic of France
  • Australian National University/SSGM, Canberra Australia
  • Head of Mission – Japan
  • Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, Suva Fiji

Many of these international organizations are still scoping to deploy observers to observe the 2017 National Election in PNG.

 

Best wishes from PNG Electoral Commissioner

With the support from all our stakeholders, partners and technical advisors, PNG Electoral Commission is ready to conduct the 2017 National Election. On behalf of them, I wish all political parties and the independent candidates every success in the 2017 National Election. As your Electoral Commissioner, I strongly encourage everyone to behave well and engage in a free, fair, safe and a more democratic election unlike in past elections. The people of PNG will go to polls and express their choices in the ballot papers. May the choice candidate win. Good luck and best wishes!

 

http://postcourier.com.pg/2017-national-elections/

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