PNG Electoral Commission Will Allow Counting Extensions If Necessary

Deadline of July 24 unlikely to be met

By Miriam Zarriga

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 18, 2017) – The Electoral Commission will allow provinces to seek extensions in counting if they need time, says Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

He said this was because electorates that were late completing polling had requested extensions beyond the July 24 deadline.

“As you know the deadline for return of writs is Monday, July 24, up to now we have one week to go.

“The Organic Law on Election allows for 21 days for counting, we have asked for 16 days for counting before the return of writs, we still have a five day buffer to go back to the Head of State and advise him to allow for the full 21 days as required under the law.

“We are now discussing that option with the Official Secretary to the Governor-General to find a time suitable before or during that day to return the writs for the National Election under special circumstances.

“This will apply to those who do not finish counting before July 24, I am hoping that by next week more counting can be completed and declarations made so that I can return all the writs together.

“By July 24 if an electorate is still counting, I will still request extension for them to continue counting after the date of the return of writs so that their writs can be returned after the rest of the writs have been returned on or before July 24,” he said.

PNG Post-Courier
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