The Election Advisory Committee (EAC) has been made active for this year’s National Election after being dormant in its role for the past two elections.
Here’s a quick Q&A regarding the EAC.
Why was the EAC Established?
The EAC was established following the failure of six national seats in Southern Highlands Province in the 2002 National General Election.
Policy discussions paved the way toward the protection of neutrality of the Electoral Commissioner for future electoral events. As a result the law was amended and certified on September 21, 2006 prior to the 2007 National Election.
What is the Purpose of the EAC?
The EAC is established under section 96C of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections (Organic Law), with the primary function being to provide recommendations and advice to the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission (PNGEC).
The recommendations and advice put forward by the EAC include matters related to the Organic Law and any other matters relating to elections that are referred to the EAC by the PNGEC.
What Powers does the EAC have?
According to Section 96A of the Organic Law, the EAC has the exclusive power to advise the Electoral Commissioner that a writ should be withdrawn by the Head of State.
“Grounds to cancel, withdraw writ or fail an election in an electorate include violence and election fraud such as hijacking of rolls, ballots, poll workers, failure of polls in designated places and times resulting in the cancellation of polls.”
“Upon the cancellation, withdrawal of writ in an electorate the Governor General shall act with and in accordance with advice of the Electoral Commission issue new writ for a supplementary election as soon as practicable.”
Who makes up the EAC?
The members of the EAC shall be the Chief Ombudsman or his/her nominee, a nominated member of the Board of Transparency International (PNG) Incorporated (TIPNG) and a retired judge or a lawyer qualified to be appointed a judge nominated by PNGEC after consultations with the Chief Ombudsman and TIPNG.
This year the three-member EAC includes Ombudsman Richard Pagen, Richard Kassman of TIPNG and lawyer, Professor John Luluaki were sworn in by Governor General, Bob Dadae on June 8 at the Government House.
Check the Electoral Commission’s website for more information.