Featured Highlands News Your Vote 2017

Jiwaka’s Returning Officer Appointment Questioned

The intending candidates for the Jiwaka Regional seat are questioning the process involved in the appointment of the new Provincial Returning Officer.

Most of the intending candidates met this morning at Banz, Jiwaka, to petition the Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, to quash the appointment.

They also questioned the legality of changing the electoral office venue, which is where they are to pay the nomination fees.

An intending candidate for Jiwaka Regional, Benjamin Kala, who says he speaks on behalf of the other candidates, told EMTV News that they are not happy with the change of Electoral Office from Banz to Kurumul, which is the new Provincial headquarter.

Kala said the candidates want to pay their nomination fees at the Electoral Office in Banz for transparency reasons.

He also said that they can’t go to Kurumul to pay their fees and questioned the legal implications.

Another issue raised was the legal implications candidates would risk to pay nomination fees to the new Returning Officer, Stefan Wusik, who is currently not gazetted.

Jiwaka Provincial Deputy Administrator, Jospeh Amban, urged the public servants to be mindful in running the office and the election.

He said he was supposed to be the returning officer for this election as he was in the last election.

The Electoral Commission confirmed that Wusik can still accept nomination fees while waiting to be gazetted.

However, Amban claimed the Provincial Administrator, Michael Wandil, is abusing his powers to appoint Wusik at the last hour.

Meanwhile, the intending candidates for the Jiwaka Regional seat said they will not pay nomination fees until the Electoral Commissioner attends to these two issues.

Some of the intending candidates, and their supporters, went to pay their fees since last Friday at the Electoral Office in Banz, but were unsuccessful.

They have till Thursday, April 27, to pay their fees.

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