Election office warns against early campaign

National, Normal

The National- Tuesday, January 25, 2011

 ASPIRING politicians campaigning early is illegal, the PNG Electoral Commission said yesterday.

The commission said although a candidate could make public his intentions to contest next year, it was illegal for that person to pay, solicit, treat or procure (provide food, drinks or lodging) with the aim of influencing voters.

The general elections would be held in June next year with 18 months remaining. Writs would be issued a month earlier.

The commission advised in a media statement that any persons aggrieved by the conduct of MPs or intending candidates and their political parties could complain to the police regarding any allegations of bribery, treating and undue influence.

The commission said those aggrieved persons do not have to wait until after the elections to file a court petition.

It advised that in court, allegations of such illegal practices would not hold ground.

The commission would soon publish a full listing of all illegal practices in an election.

Meanwhile, there was still doubt on the use of the proposed electronic voting system next year because no funding was allocated for it in this year’s budget.

The commission needed K12 million to use electronic voting.