Monthly Archives: April 2017

6 Candidates Cleared to Contest

By Post Courier

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato yesterday made separate decisions on six intending candidates who required clearance to nominate and contest the 2017 National Election.

They included sitting members, two former parliamentarians and a prisoner who had appealed his conviction.

Mr Gamato named them as Sir Pita Lus, Ronny Knight, Kiloh Kennedy, Francis Potape, James Yali, and Boka Kondra.

  • Ronny Knight: The Supreme Court has allowed him to nominate on April 26.
  • Kiloh Maule Kennedy: Kennedy was imprisoned at Bomana Correctional Services. He has appealed the decision. Mr Kennedy has the right to nominate under the constitution so he is allowed to nominate and contest the election.
  • Francis Potape: Mr Potape faced allegations of misuse/misappropriation. The courts have cleared him so he can nominate and contest the election.
  • James Yali: Mr Yali is out on parole. He is no longer in prison while his pardon is still pending. His term is less. Section 50(1)(a) allows him to nominate to contest the election.
  • Boka Kondra: The Leadership Tribunal found Mr Kondra guilty of misconduct in office under the Leadership Code. His application for judicial review was dismissed by Court. Mr Kondra resigned as member of Parliament therefore he is no longer a leader. He is free to nominate and contest.
  • Sir Pita Lus: There is no age limit for nomination and contesting after passing the legal age limits to contest as MP. Sir Pita Lus can therefore nominate and contest the election.
ronny knight

Pictured here is Ronny Knight who has been given the clear to contest

The clearance by the commission came after various lawyers and candidates sought clearance from the Electoral Commissioner to nominate and contest various seats in the country.

Mr Gamato said he has allowed these intending candidates to nominate and contest the election in the light of the provisions the Constitution that limit, allow and qualify persons intending to nominate and contest the national general elections.

“As Electoral Commissioner, I have made some decisions in light of the provisions of the Constitution and the Organic Law on National and LLG Elections.”

Let the race begin!

April 28, 2017Report by GORETHY KENNETH
Only 2614 candidates have nominated to contest the 2017 National Election, the official preliminary figures released last night showed.

The PNG Electoral Commission had expected 4068 candidates to nominate but at 4.06pm when nominations closed, the remaining 1454 had filled in Form 23 had failed to nominate.

Only 134 are women candidates with 54 in Southern region, 35 in Momase, 26 in the Highlands and 19 in New Guinea Islands.

The 2480 men candidates come from the Highlands 825, Momase 684, Southern 662 and New Guinea Islands 309.
These figures were released at 7pm.
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said these were preliminary figures and the official count would be released on Monday.

Mr Gamato said the Highlands region recorded the highest field of candidates (men and women) 851 followed by Momase 719, Southern 716 and New Guinea Islands -328

In the Highlands Region, Eastern Highlands Province had the highest number of candidates with 384, Jiwaka with 133, Southern Highlands with 116, Hela 89, Chimbu 56 and Enga 18.

In Momase, Morobe had 227 candidates, Madang 205, East Sepik 110 and West Sepik 92.

Southern Region also fielded a lot of candidates with Central Province leading with 133, Gulf also had 133, National Capital District 128, Western province 99, Northern 95 and Milne Bay 72.

For New Guinea Islands East New Britain recorded 79 candidates, West New Britain 68, Bougainville 68, Manus 52 and New Ireland 42.

Mr Gamato said the Electoral Commission had a few hiccups in provinces like Enga where information was not available by close of nomination and last night due to communication difficulties.

“They were still experiencing some communication problems so we did have not received their full list,” he added.

Gamato – ” Stay Calm”

By MALUM NALU

ELECTORAL Commissioner Patilias Gamato is appealing for a peaceful and trouble-free general election, in the wake of two incidents of violence during the first week of nomination.

On Monday, a group of men stoned vehicles belonging to Southern Highlands Governor William Powi and Nipa-Kutubu MP Jeffery Komal in Mendi, creating fear among the people.

On Tuesday, a student was shot dead and another man seriously injured when a group of men attacked vehicles carrying Kerowagi MP Camillus Dangma and his supporters to file his nomination in Chimbu.

“Intimidation and violence during the nomination and polling period are completely unacceptable,” Gamato, pictured, said.

“Everyone should be given the right to come forward and be nominated.

“Everyone should be given the right to cast their vote. It’s their democratic right.”

He said his officers would not be threatened by candidates and their supporters.

“It’s unacceptable. We cannot be intimidated,” Gamato said.

“The Government process is bigger than all of us.

“People should not threaten one another, especially the returning officers and assistant returning officers.

“They (people making threats) will be referred to police.”

Gamato said it was disappointing to see some candidates and their supporters instigating violence and intimidation.

“I’m appealing to all candidates and their supporters to ensure that this election is trouble-free,” he said.

“They should take the responsibility upon themselves.”

Gamato said the role of the commission was to set up polling stations and allow people to vote there.

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Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato 

Meanwhile, Gamato is happy with the progress of nominations so far, with the deadline at 4pm today.

Yesterday, he checked the progress of nominations for the National Capital District Regional seat and Moresby North-West seat.

The exact number of candidates contesting the 111 seats in the country should be known by Monday.

“At this point, I would say that half of the people who have filed their Form 29 (bio-data) have been nominated,” Gamato said.

“I’m hoping that they can come forward and complete their nomination forms.

“They have to pay their (K1000) fees first and come to complete their nomination forms.”

Gamato said more than 4000 Form 29 had been filled out by intending candidates and around 2000 had filed their nominations.

“The way things are going, we might not reach that 4000,” he said.

“Some people come and fill Form 29 but we (only) accept nominations when they pay their fees and complete nomination forms before a returning officer.”

O’Neill nominates Judge Sawong for Kabwum Open

By: Post Courier

Thousands of people from Kabwum have turned out yesterday to welcome Prime Minister Peter O’Neill who was there to support the people’s national congress party candidate.
Former Judge Don Sawong is contesting under the PNC banner and yesterday PM O’Neill flew to Kabwum to witness his nomination and later speak to the people of Kabwum.
This is the seat that was left vacant by now Governor General Bob Dadae.
PM O’Neill is now ending today (Thursday) his support for candidates under PNC nominating before he goes on a full eight weeks campaign trail to support all his members and to visit all provinces to see the development that his O’Neill Dion Government had delivered.
PNC Party also launches its campaign program on Wednesday 01, 2017.


How is this for a smart piece of politics?
For the Prime Minister Peter Oniell, a man who has been repeatedly and diligently accused of stealing, corruption and ruining the country’s economy, and courting and battling an outstanding Arrest Warrant for questioning on the criminal matter involving Paul Parakas case, to appear with a former Judge of the National Court of Papua New Guinea, and only retired recently Justice Sawong, Ret. and to be endorsed by his Political Party PNC, for nomination and Election is a stamp of approval indeed.

A brilliant piece of a political maneuvering. This gesture alone signifies that Peter Oniell is an astute politician, a brilliantly strategist and thinker. It is for this reason why he has maintain power as the Prime Minister, despite the arrest warrants, bad and negative publicity, and survied a Court induced Vote of No Confidence, with a landslide. An overwhelming victory.

I said before if only 10 PNC MPs return to Parliament. PNC will form the Government.

PNC to introduce Laws to protect Free Education

BY: Ruth Rungula

A new People’s National Congress government after the elections will set up an Endowment Fund for education and introduce legislations to ensure the free education policy is continued and not politicised.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill revealed this in Pangia during his nomination last Friday.

He said in 2012, PNC promised to deliver free education and has lived up to its word.

pm

Prime Minister Peter O’Neil addressing the crowd last Friday

It has invested K3b every year to deliver this policy despite hiccups along the way.

To continue to assist parents pay their children’s school fees, the new government looks to continue this policy but with legislations in place.

With these new legislations, all future governments will put education as priority number one and must not be changed for political convenience.

Leo Dion nominates for ENB Regional

The Evergreen sleepy town of Kokopo in the East New Britain Province turned RED today!

Deputy Prime Minister and Governor for EastNew Britain today nominates and turned the streets RED with his Party PNC colours!

Hundreds of City Residents all turned up to show signs of support that they will bring him back for another term in the Parliament.

Atiyafa says, “Agencies should be well funded “

By: Post Courier

THE government’s development grants of more than K6 billion, frontloaded to provinces, districts and local level governments during the past five years, would be a waste if there is no monitoring and evaluation conducted.

There are lot of development funds allocated in the form of provincial and district services improvement programs (PSIP, DSIP and LLGSIP) allocated by the government to rehabilitate infrastructure, basic health and education, including economic sectors to improve the livelihood of the rural people.

These projects and programs must be inspected and evaluated by the national government through the responsible agencies such as Department of Implementation and Rural Development and the Auditor-General so that the amount of such billion kinas has to be determined and audited whether it has been put to good use.

Atiyafa

Henganofi MP Robert Atiyafa

This was highlighted by the Henganofi MP, Robert Atiyafa, while presenting his 2016 DSIP acquittal reports to DIRD in Port Moresby this week, before he flies up to his electorate to nominate to defend his Henganofi seat.

“These huge grants have to be reported, provide comprehensive reports to the National Executive Council, relevant government agencies and development partners so that the people know where their funds have been expedited,” he said.

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