by Fabian Hakalits – EM TV, Port Moresby
The Bougainville Electoral Commission has warned all intending candidates for this year’s Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) general election to stop early campaigning.
Acting Bougainville Electoral Commissioner George Manu said the Bougainville Electoral Commission has received information and is aware of the many intending candidates already conducting campaigns.
Early campaigns are illegal and in breach of electoral laws. Manu said those involved will be penalised, warning candidates:
“Stop conducting early campaigns and wait until election dates are finalised.”
Candidates are allowed to set up committees during this period, but gatherings should be strictly centered on campaign strategies and programs.
Election dates will be finalised and announced next week, but are pending approval from ABG Speaker Andrew Miriki.
Meanwhile, this year’s election will be historical because it will be conducted by the Bougainville Electoral Commission.
The PNG Electoral Commission, with the Australia and New Zealand electoral commissions, are providing technical assistance and support.
Apart from managing processes and preparations, the Bougainville Electoral Commission has also produced its own materials, manuals and forms for voter registrations.