45 Political Parties to Contest
By MALUM NALU and CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
THERE will be 45 political parties contesting the 2017 general election, it has been confirmed.
And the total number of candidates will be finalised when nominations close on Thursday next week, officials say.
Registrar of Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu told The National yesterday that the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission met on Thursday and accepted the registration of the Structure Organisation Money Pioneer Party.
It becomes the 45th party to register for the general election.
He said the party had submitted its registration at the end of 2016, with the board twice considering its application, but rejected it because of complaints against it.
He said the commission conducted its own investigations and “we decided that it was okay to register the party”.
Gelu said the party was made up of a “mixture of Papua New Guineans”.
“We’ve given them the opportunity to take part in this election.”
Gelu said his office was geared up for tomorrow when writs would be issued and nominations start.
The Registrar’s Funding-Disclosure director John Bishop said in 2012, they registered 15 parties during the two weeks before the writs were issued.
“And only three of them remained after the elections,” he said.
“The rest were de-registered because they failed to comply with the Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (Olippac).
“Just because you don’t have any MPs, it does not mean you don’t meet the provision of the Olippac.
“You must always comply. Especially in terms of financial obligations and keeping your membership alive.”
Bishop said some associations had registered with the Investment Promotion Authority as political parties and assumed that they were already political parties, although they had not registered with the commission yet.