Questions have been raised why political party, Systems Organisation Money Pioneer Party (SOM) at the close of nomination registered 10 candidates in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Acting Election Manager, Desmond Timiyaso in an interview with EMTV News in Buka revealed that all 10 candidates would be running as independent candidates.
“Candidates will be taken up as independent,” he said
EMTV News, obtained a letter to the PNG Electoral Commissioner from the SOM Pioneer Party dated on the April 21, 2017, highlighting that only four candidates for the four seats in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville were endorsed. The other 6 candidates will be independent.
In the letter according to the party president, Francis Bom, only 4 candidates were endorsed;
- Cosmas Sohia for North Bougainville
- Robert Baranangko for Central Bougainville
- Jacob Potoura for South Bougainville and
- John Sania for the Bougainville Regional seat
However, questions have been raised of who has paid nomination fees for other 6 if later if they are considered Pro-SOM Pioneer Party candidates.
“There are others which pro-SOM Pioneer actually assisted in paying nomination and they took them up as pro-SOM Pioneer. It has to be made known that SOM Pioneer Party endorsed 4 candidates,” said Timiyaso.
However Registrar of Political Parties, Dr. Alphonse Gelu did clarify that SOM Pioneer is incorporated and a registered political party of Papua New Guinea.
Speaking in light of the serious of questions raised by EMTV News on the SOM Pioneer issue, Dr. Gelu has sounded a warning call to all political parties to be careful with such moves, which are unlawful.
Dr. Gelu in response said that under the Organic Law of Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates, section 56 on Political Party Endorsed Candidates parties are not allowed to endorse a candidate and support another in the same seat.
He said to keep a look out because such moves are illegal and political parties can be penalised.
“If that other candidate wins I can declare his or her election illegal,” said Gelu.
Meanwhile, EMTV News is yet to receive a response from the SOM Pioneer Party.