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Electoral Commission Warns Public Against Early Campaigning

The PNG Electoral Commission has warned against early campaigning for 2017, saying it is illegal.

The public notice comes following numerous complaints received from members of the public concerning early campaign materials by individuals intending to contest the 2017 National and Local Level Government elections.

As the body set up under the constitution to conduct free, fair and safe elections, the Electoral Commission is making sure that the public is aware of the offences relating to elections under the Criminal Code.

From past experiences, election campaigns can come in the form of treating, undue influence and bribery.

These actions can see penalties or fines not exceeding K400, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year.

If found guilty from the date of conviction, a person is incapable for a period of three years to vote and to stand for election.

When announcing the 2017 National Election Program, Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, said the nomination period is seven days (April 20-27) and campaign period is eight weeks (April 20-July 8).

The Electoral Commission said members of the public may lay complaints to the police to investigate, arrest, and charge any person who may have committed any electoral offences, including early campaigning.

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