0912 Early submission of candidate bio data an administrative matter

Advance notice to intending candidates for the 2017 National Elections to submit their bio data and passport-sized photos to generate candidate posters for polling booths is an administrative matter for the Electoral Commission as part of its preparations. Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato was responding to a letter from Leader of the Opposition Don Polye on the issue.

In a  letter dated December 6, 2017 Mr. Polye called on the PNG Electoral Commission to correct what he termed as "misleading message" sent to the Secretaries General of Political Parties inviting intending candidates for 2017 National Election to complete a Candidate Bio Data Form (Form 29).

Mr. Gamato says the Commission is very much aware of the closing date for the completion and submission of Candidate Bio Data Forms which is at the close of nominations on Thursday 27, April, 2017 as per the current election program.

"However, the decision to inform intending candidates in advance so that they can prepare themselves to fill in the necessary required forms including their passport size photos before the nomination period is an administrative matter."

"This is to ensure that when candidates nominate, their data is already in the system, thus making PNGEC’s job easier taking into consideration an anticipated high number of candidates for 2017 elections," he said.

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He further explained that in the light of recently proposed legislative amendments to the Organic Law on National Elections approved by the National Executive Council which will see the reduction of the campaign period from eight (8) weeks to four (4) weeks, PNGEC needs to have all the bio data for intending candidates (Form 29) and photos in quickly.

The Electoral Commissioner said that early submission of candidate bio data and photos will make PNGEC’s job of easier because when candidates nominate when nominations open, their data is already in the system for the Commission to quickly generate candidate posters for printing in large quantities for all the polling booths nationwide.

Meanwhile, extension of time has been given to allow intending candidates to submit their bio data and passport-sized photos and will be published in the newspapers in the coming days.

The revised closing date for submission of candidate bio-data is now January 17, 2017.

"It is, therefore, not the Commission’s intention to provide misleading information that could prevent potential candidates from nominating and render the 2017 elections invalid," Gamato said.




ALPHONSE MUAPI
Media Consultant

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