The PNG Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai has announced that candidates can now nominate for general elections as early as 8am today (Thursday).
There is expected to be a “mad rush” to nominate today, “just to be on the safe side” pertaining to the legal issues surrounding the nomination period allegedly to be in accordance with the Organic Law so that no challenges or legal issues will be encountered.
This is also after Sinai assured and announced to the nation that nominations were deferred for a week after Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae issued the writs on 12 May, 2022.
Sinai said that writs were issued on 12 May, but because of the respect for the late DPM Sam Basil, it was further postponed to today.
Since the deferral, two MPs have nominated – first up was Namatanai MP Walter Schnaubelt in his electorate on 12 May 12 and Wednesday, Kikori MP, who is also Foreign Affairs Minister Soroi Eoe.
Prime Minister James Marape is nominating today in Hela, along with Ialibu Pangia MP and former prime minister, Peter O’Neill.
More than 90 percent of the sitting MPs and the intending candidates are set to nominate as soon as the office opens this morning.
This is despite returning officers advising all candidates that the office will open at 4pm and not in the morning.
But Sinai has announced returning officers will start taking nominations from today onwards starting at 8am.
He said writs have also been dispatched to all the provinces and their respective nominations will begin as soon as the returning officers and their officials receive them.
Sinai said polling will start on 02 July and end on July 22, 2022, with the return of Writs expected from 23-29 July, 2022.
“Let me reassure our people the various political parties and candidates, stakeholders and everyone else that the National General Elections are on schedule to be delivered as per the requirements of the Constitution and the Organic Law on the conduct of this national event.
“I am confident that by working together, we will deliver a fair and just election result that our country expects and deserves,” he said.
“All intending candidates and sitting MPs can nominate this morning, as early as 8 am,” Sinai said.
“To clear the air, all intending candidates and members can now nominate, even today but also in the morning tomorrow.”
“The writs were issued 12 May so it is a living thing now.
“The close of nominations will therefore be at 4.00pm on 26 Thursday May 2022, seven days after the start of nominations,” Sinai said.
SOPURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS