Nominations open for Bulolo seat, says Sinai

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NOMINATIONS for the Bulolo Open seat will be opened today at 8am, says Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai.
Bulolo MP, who was also Deputy Prime Minister, Sam Basil and his close protection officer Neil Maino, died in a motor vehicle accident along the Bulolo Highway in Morobe last Wednesday, on the eve of the issue of writs for the general election.
Sinai said that out of respect for the deputy prime minister, the Electoral Commission had put off nominations for a week.
He said they also had to postpone to give ULP, who was a partner in Government, to reorganise after the death of their party leader.
URP had announced that it would be endorsing one of Basil’s sons to run for the Bulolo Open seat.
Meanwhile, Sinai said the nomination was a fixed date and those who wanted to contest must come forward and nominate.
He said that writs for the Hagen Open and the Porgera-Paiam Open seats were already issued and nomination for both will begin at 8am today like the rest of the country.
“We must understand that election affects lives and the decisions we make will also affect lives, so we will go ahead with the nominations in both areas.
“If you want to contest, go to the nomination site and nominate, the returning officer will be available to take your nominations from 8am to 4pm.
Meanwhile, Eastern end police commander Rigga Neggi said candidates who wished to nominate should only bring one witness with them to the provincial administration office to nominate.
“If they have been endorsed by a party, then one representatives from the party can come with the candidate and his witness.
“But cars and supporters will not be allowed to go with the candidate,” he said.
Neggi said that for the other seats in Western Highlands, they will nominate at their district offices.

Covid-19, STI a concern during general election: WHO

BESIDES its concern for a Coronavirus (Covid-19) surge during the general election, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is raising alarm about the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI).
Officer in-charge of WHO Papua New Guinea Dr Anup Gurung said traditionally in PNG there was an increase in HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and STI during the election period.
He said it was important to have awareness messages targeted at youths at this time.
Condoms, he said, should be made available to youths as well.
Dr Gurung was emphasising on the need to have HIV, STI and Covid-19 awareness messages reaching youths because they were the group of people who would be out in numbers at campaign gatherings and houses.
He said young people had to ensure they practised the Niupela Pasin when they returned home to protect their family, especially the vulnerable one – the older people and those with underlying medical condition.
“The more people gather in a crowd and the longer people interact with each other, the greater the risk of Covid-19 spreading,” Dr Gurung said.