PNG Political Parties Illegally Running More Than One Candidate In Some Electorates

Registrar of Political Parties calls on Electoral Commissioner to correct 'double endorsements'

By Matthew Vari

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June , 2017) – A confused Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates Dr Alphonse Gelu has appealed to Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato to immediately correct “illegal” double endorsements of candidates by political parties.

He noted with concern yesterday that at least four political parties have more than one candidate for one seat, contrary to law.

Dr Gelu warned that the entire election process on June 24 could be derailed with legal challenges if the current candidates listing of certain political parties is not amended immediately, citing huge discrepancies of double endorsements in various Regional and Open seats.

The candidate listing in its current form clearly violates sections 54 and 56 of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC), he said.

Dr Gelu maintained that his office had worked with the Electoral Commission during the past two weeks to ensure there were no double endorsements, and was surprised to see double endorsements in the list that the commission released last week.

“We have worked with the Electoral Commission on this listing, and I was surprised. I just texted the commissioner to tell him what is going on because we have already sorted this matter out with the Electoral Commission,” he said.

“How the listing happened, I do not know. I was looking at the list and if you look at Lae Open it has got four Pangu candidates listed.”

Pangu Party is just one of other parties that have multiple candidates listed in the candidate nominee list. Out of the 111 seats to be contested, a total of 89 have double endorsements.

The PNG Party has the highest number of electorates with double endorsements with 37 electorates, the second highest Pangu with 29, and THE Party with 26 seats that have double endorsements, and People’s National Congress Party comes equal third with 26 seats.

“That is totally illegal, and all those four are endorsed by Pangu, PNG Party they have two. That is the listing from Friday in Post-Courier.”

“We are very concerned and we have to sort this thing out right now, we can’t let these candidates go into the election with all those endorsements by one political party.

“The Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates, in section 54 on Double Endorsement, stipulates that political parties are allowed to endorse only one candidate for an Open or Regional seat.

“They are not allowed to endorse more than one. And then section 56 at the bottom also reinforces that.

“This is very serious. Because we just can’t do this and it has never happened before, the listing that comes out from the Electoral Commission is the listing that started on 2002, 2007, 2012 and now 2017.

“They have to fix that up quickly and if it needs to be, they have to call us up to sit down with them,” Mr Gelu said.

PNG Post-Courier
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