Public Service Minister: Election Contestants Must Resign to Contest

 

By Fabian Hakalits – EMTV News, Port Moresby

All public servants wishing to contest the 2017 national election will have to resign by October 20 this year.

This is a policy of the Public Service Management Act 2014 that’states “any person wishing to contest an election must resign six months before writs are issued”.

Member for Usino Bundi, Anton Yagama, raised a question in parliament yesterday on the eligibility of public servants wishing to contest the national elections and what might happen to their substantive appointmen’s.

“When public servants resign, do they come back to their original position? And is there a law that governs public servants engaged in campaigns, using government assets?” he asked.

Writs for the 2017 national election will be issued on April 20, next year. Public Service Minister, Sir Puka Temu, said under the general orders, notices must be submitted.

“By October 20 this year, all public servants must resign. Under the general orders, all public servants must give one month notice to their departmental heads, provincial administrators, chief executive officers of district development authorities,” he said.

Minister Temu also clarified those who resign will have to reapply and warned public servants using government assets for early campaigns to refrain as penalties apply.

“Those who resign will no longer come back automatically if they want their positions back; they will have to reapply with the rest of the public servants,” he said.

Temu called for the law to be amended from six to 12 months for public servants resigning to contest elections.

“And so, I am convinced that perhaps six months resigning before the election is not enough, we should amend the law to 12 months,” he added.

As Public Service Minister, he is willing to bring the amendmen’s forward in the next parliament session.

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