Candidates want law abolished to ‘protect elections’

National

CANDIDATES who lost the election for the Southern Highlands regional seat wants the Government to abolish the organic law on national and local level government which covers special circumstances.
The call has come from Joseph Kobol, Bernard Peter and Alfred Walne after William Powi, was declared provincial governor last Friday, under special circumstances.
The candidates said in Port Moresby this week that the Government should abolish the section of the Act as they believed it would have a negative impact on future elections.
They said that although they were yet to decide whether to pursue the matter in court, they were now making the call for that section of the Act to be abolished to protect future elections.
Kobol said Powi did not reach the 50 +1 per cent target required to be declared, but was declared on special circumstance according to section 175 of the organic law on national and local level government elections.
“Candidates in the future may misuse the act and start causing law-and-order problems when they lead in the primary count to be declared under special circumstances,” Kobol said. “That is why we are calling to abolish the law now.”
Gamato said he applied section 175 of the organic law on national elections under “special circumstances” to use the primary count results to confirm the declaration made by the former provincial returning officer, Jacob Kurap, in July.
He said due to law-and-order problems, governance issues and service delivery difficulties, the public service machinery was being affected. It was therefore the duty of the Electoral Commission to put in place a legitimate government for SHP through the electoral process.

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