By Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Election dates for Papua New Guinea’s 2017 General Elections were announced today by the Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato.
Issue of writs will be on April 20, 2017 and return of writs for the National Elections will follow 3 months later on July 24.
Other announcements include plans for the LLG elections, the theme of the 2017 elections.
Mr. Gamato made these announcements while calling on the government for more funding to ensure a successful election operation.
Along with those announcements Mr Gamato also revealed the theme of the elections, “Your Choice, Protect Democracy” with the slogan, “Think, Own and Vote Now.”
Another revelation was that the National and LLG elections will be conducted at the same time.
“Under the law I am entitled to conduct the two election together, its section 299 of the organic law of the national and LLG elections,” he said.
With the issuing of writs starting on the April 20, there will be 7 days of nominations with the close of writs on April 27.
Two weeks of polling will follow starting on June 24, and ending on July 8.
The dates of the return of writs will be different for the National and the LLG elections with the National election on July 24, while the LLG return of writs will be two weeks later on August 7.
With the announcement of the election dates, the electoral commissions’ immediate priority will be the updating of the electoral rolls with the plans to decentralise the enrolment of people to districts.
These plans hinge on the funding the commission will get from the government.
“We have conducted elections in the past and we are ready to conduct (this) elections. The only hurdle that we have to overcome is funding and we have already approached the Chief Secretary of the government for additional funding.”