6 weeks to go

BY GORETHY KENNETH

The Electoral Commission is in the process of finalising details of all candidates before commissioning the final printing of posters for the 2017 National Election.

The posters will be printed onshore containing details such as the candidate’s official names, specific seat contested, photographs, political party or an independent, name of the leader of the political party.

They will also contain the box number as determined by the order of the official draw, candidate identification number and any other feature deemed desirable by the Electoral Commissioner.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said yesterday the final details are in order to comply with section 53 of the Organic Law on Elections.

The section stipulates that the Electoral Commission prints candidate posters within such time as the Electoral Commissioner determines after the declaration of nominations.

Another section of this Organic Law – section 82 – said that the candidate posters can be displayed in adequate numbers and at such prominent places as possible for voters to consult. Candidate posters will be displayed outside the polling stations and within the voting compartments for voters to consult and identify their choice candidates to vote.

Six more weeks of campaign period remain as the Electoral Commission prepares to print the candidate posters.

Mr Gamato said that 3332 candidates, 165 of them women, have nominated to contest the 2017 National Election. Interestingly, a total of 3343 candidates (135 women) contested the 2012 national election.

He also said that the Electoral Commission has finalised the Electoral Roll and to date, the commission has deleted about 109,000 ghost names. “But there are still some ghost names there which are being eradicated,” he added.

As the candidate posters are being prepared, Police Commissioner Gari Baki will convene a meeting today to review the special operations into risky areas like Highlands, northern part of Morobe, parts of National Capital District and New Guinea Islands especially Bougainville and West New Britain.

six weeks

Mr Baki said yesterday that although funds have become a hindrance to security operation, they have managed with the April allocation released and are awaiting the portion for the operations.

The Inter-Departmental Election Committee made up of Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari as chair, Gamato, Baki, PNGDF commander Gilbert Toropo, CS commissioner Michael Waipo, Finance Secretary Ken Ngangan, Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele and Provincial Affairs Secretary Nixon Guina will also meet today for election updates.

The Electoral Commissioner also said yesterday that the ballot papers, printed in Indonesia, are securely locked away in 11 containers at undisclosed locations in Port Moresby and would be dispatched before the polling date.

He said that during the six weeks, the ballot papers will be unpacked and repacked according to enrolment numbers for each province and dispatched two weeks before the start of polling on June 24.

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