BARNABAS ORERE PONDROS
ELECTORAL Commissioner Andrew Trawen has warned aspiring candidates for the Kandep by-election to abide by the law during the campaign phase and during polling.
He also urged the intending candidates to “strictly lodge nominations at Kandep station”.
“All intending candidates must respect the law and respect fellow candidates during the campaign period,” the electoral commissioner said.
Mr Trawen issued the warning shortly after Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane signed the writs for the by-election at Government House at 2pm yesterday.
The signing of writs signals the start of the by-election that is estimated to cost K4.5 million, of which K3 million has been disbursed by Treasury.
Nominations opened at 4.06pm yesterday and will end next Wednesday, followed by campaigning.
Candidates must deposit their K1,000 nomination fees prior to registration into the Electoral Commission Trust Account at the Bank South Pacific. The trust account number is 1000489658.
“Nominations will strictly be at the Kandep station, where the returning officer is based,” he said.
Returning officer Tore Poevare, with assistants Kila Ralai and Kila Egaba, are already on site.
Polling will be held from Nov 16-20, and will be conducted at 74 sites, supervised by 370 polling officials.
These officials will be brought in from Madang, Morobe, Eastern Highlands, Simbu and Southern Highlands provinces.
Twenty of these staff will be election managers sourced from the commission’s offices nationwide to provide support.
Mr Trawen said the commission was “satisfied that all arrangements are in place”.
He confirmed that Treasury had released K3 million for the event and the balance would be released later.
Regarding security, Mr Trawen assured that Police Commissioner Gari Baki was making the arrangements.
The commission has been tasked, as required by law, to conduct the by-election after the National Court ruled the 2007 election of National Alliance party leader of the Highlands region, Mr Polye, null and void.
Although the final number of contestants will not be known until next Wednesday, it is affirmed that Mr Polye and lawyer Alfred Manase, who lodged the successful court appeal, will be in the fray.