Convicted Member for Pomio, Paul Tiensten has some 36 days to appeal his conviction, before the Pomio Open seat becomes vacant.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen today, said his office is not preparing for any by-elections yet for this electorate.
Lawyers representing the convict, are yet to indicate whether or not any action will be taken to appeal his sentencing.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen said in a statement, according to Section 103, Subsection 4a of the Constitution, convicted MP Paul Tientsten was still a member of parliament for at least another 40 days, from the date of the court sentencing.
He said if Tiensten does not file an appeal within these 40 days, then his office will start preparing for a by-election.
Mr Trawen was correcting erroneous statements by media organisations, that the Electoral Commission would soon set a date for Pomio by-election following Tiensten’s fate.
He however said if Tiensten files an appeal, the constitution will prevent the electoral commission from conducting a by-election, until such time his appeal is determined.
Tiensten’s legal counsel, Young and Williams lawyers, said they were carefully considering their client’s options, will advise him accordingly, and await further instructions from him.
Mr Trawen said Tiensten had a right to appeal his conviction, and they will not engage in any discussions until the 40 days are over, or until after his judicial appeal is determined, if he files one.
Paul Tiensten, Member for Pomio Open, was sentenced to nine years in prison last Friday, after he was found guilty of dishonestly awarding K10 million to Travel Air.
The National Court also ruled that four years of the total nine years, would be suspended on the condition that Tiensten repays the money to the state.
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