3332 candidates to officially contest
By : The National
A TOTAL of 3332 candidates have filed their nominations to contest the 111 seats in Parliament this year – a slight decrease from the 2012 total of 3447.
It includes 165 women representing 5 per cent of the total number of candidates, according to Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.
He told The National on Saturday that the increase in the number of women candidates was encouraging.
Only 135 contested the 2012 elections with three successfully making it into the House – Delilah Gore (Sohe MP), Loujaya Kouza (Lae MP) and Julie Soso (Eastern Highlands Governor).
Nominations closed at 4pm on Thursday.
The official campaign period of eight weeks began after the close of nominations although some candidates had started straight after filing their nominations last week.
“The number has been good in terms of female candidates standing for election,” Gamato said.
During the 2007 election, 103 women contested, representing 3.7 per cent of the 2759 candidates.
Only one woman won – Dame Carol Kidu – who retained her Moresby-South seat.
During her last term in Parliament in 2012, Dame Carol tried to have 22 seats reserved for women.
But her proposal was rejected by Parliament.
Gamato said 4068 candidates had filled in Form 29 on their bio-data before nominations opened but only 3332 filed their nominations last week.
Meanwhile, Morobe provincial election manager Simon Soheke said in Menyamya, a few intending candidates could not reach the election office to file their nominations because of the poor road condition.
He said in Tewai-Siassi a few intending candidates also did not register because they arrived at the nomination venue late.
Soheke said he hoped that peace would prevail during the campaign, polling and counting periods. He said it was in the best interest of the people that candidates maintain peace.