Papua New Guinea’s Governor-General, Sir Bob Dadae, today accepted Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai’s recommendation to extend the date for the 2022 general election Return of Writs by two weeks.
The new date is August 12.
With three days remaining before the initial gazetted date of July 29, counting for more than half of the seats in the 118-seat Parliament is yet to be completed.
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The Office of the Governor-General issued a statement on the announcement this afternoon after a closed door deliberation.
“It would be impossible to complete all counting by Friday so I accept the extension by 14 days to 12th of August, 2022 at 4pm,” Sir Bob said.
“The extension will save time and resources and we avoid a failed election which will be costly to if we were to start all over again.”
The Electoral Commission has advised counting officials throughout the country to work in 24-hours shifts to complete counting.
Sinai informed the Governor-General of the circumstances that led to the decision which he said were based on:
- Financial constraints;
- The untimely death of Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil which had delayed the elections by a week;
- Logistic problems; and
- Election officials not turning up on time at their designated areas which had slowed the process.
According to Sinai, “special circumstances” warranted the extension of the Return of Writs and he has assured that the extension was within “the fifth anniversary of the day fixed for the return of writs for the previous general election… The extension of time seeks to avoid a failed election and is also intended to provide time to allow all the writs to be returned accordingly.”
The extension now means the initial date for Parliament to sit — August 4 — will now be moved to a later date pending the return of writs.
Republished by arrangement with Inside PNG.