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The 2017 General Election process in Papua New Guinea is now underway following the signing and issue of writs today.
Governor-General Bob Dadae pre-signed 89 open seats' instruments/writs and continued with the 22 provincial instruments.
Over 4000 intending candidates, who have shown interest to contest, will start their nomination today at 4pm with a K1000 (US$314) fee.
The election returning officers and election managers will now start receiving nominations throughout the country, starting at 4pm today.
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said campaign will commence for a period of eight weeks.
Nomination will close at 4pm on April 27, followed by polling and counting and return of Writs on July 24.
The signing and issue of Writs was witnessed by diplomats PNGEC staff and the media.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has told heads of Government departments and State agencies to stay neutral and focus on delivering services as the 2017 general election process begins.
“I urge you to stay focused on your jobs. Over the next three months, you are tasked to maintain the public service and continue delivering to our people. Leave the politics to the politicians,” he said.
Heads of departments and agencies met at the Agiru Centre in Mendi, Southern Highlands, to discuss issues relating to the general election, which starts with the issuing of writs today by Governor-General Bob Dadae in Port Moresby.
O’Neill reminded the heads that they represented what most describe as the engine room of a country.
“If you stop functioning, it doesn’t matter what policies and dreams we have as leaders, they will never be achieved,” he said.
He said the public service had transformed over the past 41 years and it came with huge challenges.
O’Neill said over the past five or six years, there had been at times a clash of ideas, a clash over the manner in which services were delivered to the people.
“It does not matter who comes into Government, the main thing is that the public service must be resolute in its stand,” he said.
O’Neill acknowledged the heads of department and state agencies for their support and leadership.
“You can be proud that you have done well for your country,” he said.
“If any of your ministers are not complying with the process and standards that is expected of him or her, you have every right to complain to me.”.
SOURCE: LOOP PNG/ THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
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