Outstanding writs delay electoral process

National

THE return of only 80 writs to the governor-general last Friday is “grossly unfair to the people of the remaining 31 electorates”, Constitutional and Law Reform Commission secretary Dr Eric Kwa says.
“The return of writs by the Electoral Commissioner signified the end of the elections,” Kwa said.
“This meant that the 31 remaining elected leaders would technically be disqualified to participate in the elections of the speaker and prime minister.”
He said the date for the return of writs had two immediate effects — it ended the general election and started the life of the new Parliament, and the political party with the highest number of elected leaders was invited to form the government.
Kwa said the advice to the governor-general by the electoral commissioner must be made after consultation with the Registrar of Political Parties.
Form 26 would be issued by the Registrar of Political Parties to the electoral commissioner, who then advises the governor to invite the political party with the highest number of winning candidates to form the government.
“Unfortunately, Form 26 was delivered to the governor-general by the electoral commissioner without the knowledge or information of the registrar of political parties,” the secretary said.
“The return of writs triggers the preparations for the sitting of parliament for the election of the speaker and the prime minister.
“The return of writs signals that all 111 elected members can now be sworn in as MPs.
“After their swearing in by the Chief Justice, they are then eligible to vote for the speaker and the prime minister.

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