Intending candidates wishing to run under a political banner in the upcoming 2022 National General Elections, have been urged to only run under registered political parties and avoid the ones that are not recognised as legitimate ones.
The Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates Dr. Alphonse Gelu said this will ensure the intending candidates are not fooled into signing up under unregistered political parties that could cost them during the elections.
He said there have been cases of individuals and groups going around the country getting money from intending candidates.
Under the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties, there is a section that talks about misrepresentation and when groups claim to be political parties even though they are not yet registered, they are in breach of the provisions in the Organic Law.
“You cannot go and misrepresent the public about your status, a number of authorities have come out demanding a free, fair and safe elections and with this kind of illegal activities, it does not contribute to that,” said Dr. Gelu.
“The prime minister on numerous occasions has come out calling for our country to conduct a free and fair elections, the PNG Electoral Commission, the Electoral Commissioner, the Police Commissioner, our members of parliament, civil society groups, the media and of course the Registry of Political Parties have called for it as well.”
Dr. Gelu said all they want to see is this election to be free, fair, and safe and not to see and observe groups and individuals doing illegal activities.
“One of the issues that has also come out is that some of these groups are associations registered under the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA), they are not political parties until and unless they come to us to register themselves as political parties, under the organic law on the Integrity of Political parties and Candidates.”
Meanwhile, a total of 43 political parties have registered and all set for the elections, while 11 have been de-registered just a couple of months before the start of the 2022 National Elections.
According to Dr. Gelu, these political parties were de-registered on the 28th of January 2022 for non-compliance with the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates, and the decision was made by the Commission.
“Those 11 political parties have been de-registered, but as required by the Organic Law these parties are given the opportunity to appeal and I believe a number of them have presented their appeal and the Commission will be looking at their appeal to see if their appeal is based on genuine reasons, then we will reinstate them.”
In addition to this, Dr. Gelu said 6 associations have submitted their applications to them to register as political parties.
“So apart from all this; the 43 political parties, the 11 that have been de-registered and the 6 that are still associations, other groups that are claiming to be a political party and a soliciting funds from intending candidates and also from the public are not political parties and they can be reported to this office, and those individuals who are responsible can be arrested for committing a criminal offence,” said Dr. Gelu.