New criteria for election candidates needed for 2012

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011

STRONG public support is needed to push for a change to PNG’s electoral laws and selection criteria that spell out the eligibility and qualification of a candidate contesting the national election, an Electoral Commission official said.
Commission media officer Alphonse Moapi made the statement yesterday after being questioned on the subject in lead-up to the national election next year.
“There is no marked eligibility of candidacy for the national election.
“We are still sticking by the general criteria that a candidate should be 18 years of age and over to contest in an election.
“There are no set rules or regulations for the candidate’s qualifications or standing in society which makes it easier for people with money to play their way into politics,” he said when stressing his views on the election process.
 “The process is such that, anyone can stand in the elections as long as they are 18 years and over.
“This must change and it is up to the people who elect leaders to push for that to happen,” Moapi said.
He said the commission had in the past made attempts to close loopholes in the electoral process to allow for people with good leadership qualities into politics but that there was little support from politicians.
“The public needs to stand up strong to make the change themselves.
“The commission will support any move to correct any flaws in our electoral process,” he said.