Rai Coast by-election soon

National, Normal

THE by-election for Rai Coast in Madang province is expected to be conducted early next year.
Electoral Commission officials have put the tentative date as March but Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen will make that announcement.
The Electoral Commission has the duty and responsibility under the Constitution to conduct national elections and by-elections in PNG in accordance with the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government elections.
Section 74 of the Organic and National and LLG Elections clearly states that in case of a by-election, the head of State acting with and in accordance with the advice of the Electoral Commission, shall as soon as practicable after the vacancy occurs, issue the writ for the election of a new member.
For the Rai Coast seat, a vacancy existed after the death of former MP Niuro Sapia last October.
Mr Trawen had earlier said that in the case of by-election after deaths the Electoral Commission would respect the dead and would give ample time for mourning period to be over before he calling for a by-election.