By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Chief Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, says the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission has only six months remaining to conduct any more by-elections.
Commissioner Gamato said Section 106 of the Papua New Guinean Constitution, prevents the conduct of by-elections after the fifth anniversary of when the last national general writs were to be returned.
Gamato said July 27, 2012 was the date writs for the 2012 National General Elections were returned, and come July 27, 2016 it will be five years.
“The last date set for the written of the writs was 27 July 2012. As from 27 July 2017 onwards, the constitution prevents any by-election from being conducted,” Commissioner Gamato said.
The electoral commission has until July 2016 if they wish to conduct any more by-elections.
This means, if a member of parliament passes away, is dismissed by a leadership tribunal or goes to jail after July 2016, the seat will remain vacant until polling in 2017.
Patilias Gamato made these remarks in Port Moresby this morning.