4000 Candidates for NGE2017
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
MORE than 4000 candidates are expected to contest for the 111 parliamentary seats in the 2017 National Election.
But the Electoral Commission has projected a jump to around 6000 candidates which will be one of the highest in any democracy in the world.
He was speaking at the inaugural NBC National Press Club at Lamana Hotel.
Mr O’Neill assured the nation and development partners including Diplomatic Corps that attended the lunch hour occasion that Papua New Guinea will deliver the 2017 election on time.
“I know there is some apprehension when election is coming up, but PNG has delivered successful elections in the past. I see no reason why Papua New Guineans cannot have their say.
“Whatever decision people make must be respected, whoever wins must be respected, we will make everything possible to deliver the safe election.”
He said the Government has put some proposals to meet some election challenges including the quality of candidates and the role of women in election and that Party leaders to embrace gender.
“We expect close to 4,000 candidates, an average of 40 candidates per electorate, which is quite high by any standards.”
Mr O’Neill said elections are costly to run with the increased number of candidates in every election.
He said the Electoral Commission had asked for K500 million to run the election but that had been reduced down to K350 million after cutting out some areas.
On defending the proposed K10,000 nomination fee, Mr O’Neill said not eight million people will run for election and also brushed aside the arguments of constitutional rights.
“There are certain sacrifices you have to make. I know there are some misgivings about rights but these are qualified rights, we want Electoral Commission to make those decisions, not for us to legislate this decision.”