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Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai recently revealed that the date for the issue of Writs for the By Elections has been deferred to the 27th of July to await finalization of security arrangements by the Police.  

“Security is an important part of an election as we are dealing with people’s lives and can’t do without them,” he stated.

“We will wait for Police to sort out their budget and other operational requirements within the next few days and issue the Writs next Thursday,” he added.

Stressing on the importance of ensuring safety and security during an election so people can exercise their democratic right to vote the electoral commissioner said, police will be assigned to the respective electorates to carry out security assessment on the ground and then advise the Commission accordingly.

As of 27th of July, there will seven days of nomination, followed by eight weeks of campaign, the polling period will begin by the 23rd of September, lasting for 14 days, and the counting period will commence on the 6th to the 27th of October this year, taking 21 days.  

In brief, the new arrangements are as follows;

  • Nomination Open/Issue of Writs – Thursday 27th July, 2023
  • Nomination Close – Wednesday 2nd of August, 2023   
  • Polling Commences – Saturday 23rd of September, 2023
  • End of Polling – Friday 6th October 2023
  • Return of Writ on or before – Friday 27th October, 2023

The By Elections will be conducted in the North Bougainville in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Wewak in East Sepik Province and Lagaip in the Enga Province.

These are the three electorates affected after the National Elections. The North Bougainville and the Wewak Open seats were left vacant following the passing of the incumbent MPs William Naikin for North Bougainville and Kevin Isifu for Wewak who topped the elections. Laigaip Open Seat however was failed and had the Writ withdrawn after polling was disrupted with Ballot boxes and papers burnt and destroyed.

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