By LUKE KAMA
REGISTRAR of Political Parties and Candidates Dr Alphonse Gelu has expressed disappointment over the way an invitation was sent to the People’s National Congress (PNC) Party to form the next government.
Gelu told The National yesterday that the Registrar of Political Parties, which is the duly mandated constitutional office to issue the invitation form, was totally left out by Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato for reasons known only to Gamato.
“All this time, we at the registry have been waiting for the electoral commissioner to brief us on the outcome of the 2017 national election on how many seats have been declared,” Gelu said.
“It is very important that all the 111 seats are declared before an invitation can be sent to the political party that wins the highest number of seats to form the new government.
“It is very crucial for all the 111 MPs to participate in the formation of the government and the election of prime minister because by then, you have a government that represents the eight million-plus people of PNG.”
Gelu said Form 26, which is the invitation form that is issued by the registry to a political parties to form a new government after the election, was “hijacked by the electoral commission”.
“The invitation to a particular political party to form a new government after a national election comes only from my office, which is Form 26.
“But I don’t know how and when this form ended up at the hands of the electoral commissioner and further presented to the head of state, the governor-general to invite People’s National Congress.
“I am the custodian of this form under the law and I am the only one supposed to issue that form to the electoral commissioner after when I am briefed on the outcome of the election, especially the number of seats declared.
“That’s the process that we have been doing, in 2007 by inviting National Alliance and PNC in 2012, but for some reason, the the electoral commissioner has hijacked this process in 2017.
“I was really caught by surprise when I heard of the invitation being sent to PNC last Friday.
“Why the need for rush when 31 seats were not yet declared?
“I am very disappointed and have already written a letter to Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato to give me an explanation on why all this has happened without our knowledge and consultation.”
By LUKE KAMA