Program for 2017 National Election remains, says Gamato
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has clarified that the dates for the 2017 National Election approved by the Acting Governor General Theo Zurenuo in March 2016 have never been changed and remain. Mr. Gamato said that the dates for the 2017 National Election have never been changed and he has not released any new dates.
The Electoral Commissioner was responding to some reports in the PNG Loop online news and radio during the April Fool’s Day which fell on April 1, 2017 which reported that the date for the 2017 National Election was deferred to August 2017.
“This is not true. I have not advised the Governor General to change the dates. All the dates remain the same.”
“Those people who are spreading the false information must refrain from misleading the country.”
“This is serious and if you are found to be releasing false information, you can be charged by Police under the Election Laws,” Mr. Gamato said.
The Electoral Commissioner expressed dismay that one radio station reported the change to election dates without checking and confirming their sources.
“You (journalists) must exercise caution and ensure that you do not misreport without checking out from genuine sources like PNG Electoral Commission,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gamato outlined the dates for the 2017 National Election as follows:
- 20th April 2017 - Issue of Writs and Nomination Opens
- 27th April 2017 - Close of Nomination
- 24th June – 8th July 2017 - Polling
- 24th July 2017 - Return of Writs for National Election
“The only source to inform the country of any changes on the election dates, if any, is the PNG Electoral Commissioner,” he added.