PNG's 2017 election date announced

--- Papua New Guinea's Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato last Friday announced the dates for the 2017 National Election and Local Level Government Election.

Both elections will be held concurrently.

The theme of the elections is 'Your Choice, Protect the Democracy - Election 2017'.

The Governor General approved the dates as per the Electoral Commissioner's recommendations.

The Issue of Writs and Nomination will open on Thursday, 20 April, 2017. Nominations close 27 April, with polling to start on 24 June and will end on 08 July.

Return of Writs is on or before July 24. For the LLG Election, the return of Writs is August 07.

Commissioner Gamato said the nomination period is seven days, from April 20 to 27, campaigning eight weeks from 20 April to July 08 and the polling period is 14 days, from June 24 to July 08.

The Electoral Commissioner by law, both National and LLG elections can be run concurrently.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission says it will need 112-million-Kina to effectively update all electoral ward rolls around the country this year.

This is part of its preparations for the 2017 general elections.

Electoral Commissioner Gamato says, this is covered in its budget submission of K192 million (US$63.2 million) for preparatory work this year. He says the priority for this year is to conduct a supplementary LLG Election for the 27 failed elections in the Highlands Region as per a Supreme Court Order.

Gamato says, it will cost the PNGEC K22 million (US$7.2 million) to conduct the supplementary elections and he also urged all Provincial Election Steering Committees to take stock of their resources like ballot boxes and papers, because the PNGEC will only fund items which is unavailable.

He also says that the committees have been tasked with their sub committees to conduct awareness using materials to be supplied by the PNG Election Commission