Trawen: new return of writs date inline with constitution
PNG electoral commissioner Andrew Trawen.
Papua New Guinea’s Electoral Commission today reaffirmed yesterday’s Return of Writs for the 2012 general elections as legal and in accordance with the Constitution.
Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, said the requirements of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections were complied, including the extension of the date for the Return of the Writs for the 2012 general election for one week to yesterday August 1st, 2012.
Mr Trawen said there has been a bad misinterpretation creating anxiety and uncertainty among the public on the issue of the Return of Writs when he returned 106 Writs to the Governor General yesterday.
“The Governor General extended the original date fixed under the Constitution for the Return of Writs from July 27, 2012 to August 1, 2012,” Mr Trawen explained.
“And my advice contained in the Government Gazette No. G277 of July 31, 2012 as a Constitutional Office Holder responsible for the conduct of National Parliament and Local-Level Government elections is, I only advise the Governor General on election matters.
“As such I used my powers to advise the Governor General to further extend the date for Return of Writs for ONLY the Western Highlands, Enga and the National Capital District. That advice also covered Jiwaka, Chimbu and Eastern Highlands provincial electorates I case counting does not end by Friday 03rd August.
“I will advise and place before His Excellency the five remaining writs, to be returned at a later date as specified in the Instrument signed on Tuesday by the Governor General.
“Where special circumstances arise like delay in completing the scrutiny as per Section 81 Sub-Section 3 of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections, the Writs were returned after the date fixed for Return of Writs yesterday on August 1, 2012.
“Secondly a precedent was set in 2007 when the Writ for Western Highland Provincial Electorate was returned on August 6, 2007 when counting was still in progress whilst the majority from the rest of the country was returned on July 30, 2007.
“With the precedent set in 2007, my advice to the Governor General for the Return of Writs for the 108 seats, and excluding the three remaining provincial electorates of Western Highlands, National Capital District and Enga are being executed accordingly.
Mr Trawen clarified that Electoral Commission has NO role in calling of the First Parliamentary sitting as provided under the Constitution and he stated “the Commission’s function cease as soon as the Writs are returned to the Governor-General”
“As such all legal requirements have been fulfilled for the election purposes,” Mr Trawen said.