27 Apr 2006

Impending electoral chaos in PNG after Commission rejects extra constituencies

8:19 pm on 27 April 2006

The Papua New Guinea parliament has rejected the second Electoral Boundaries Commission report, meaning there will not be any new electorates for the next 10 years.

The Post Courier reports that the rejection of the report will also throw the 2007 General Elections into chaos if amendments to the laws are not made urgently.

Leading constitutional lawyer and legal counsel to the Electoral Commission Dr John Nongorr says the Parliament will have to reinstate the provincial electorates by making necessary changes in the Organic Law by an absolute majority.

Dr Nongorr says the amendments must also be made to change the Open electorate seat numbers from between 110-120 back to 89.

He says the Morauta Government in 2002 increased the number of Open electorates from 89 to between 110 and 120 on the assumption that the Electoral Boundaries Commission report would be accepted and the new electorates would be identified.

Dr Nongorr says it's crunch time because there isn't much time with writs to be issued in April next year for the elections.