By PATRICK SAKAL
THE Electoral Commission has announced tentative dates for the issue and return of writs for the 2017 national election.
PNG Electoral Commissioner, Patalis Gamato said the tentative dates approved and announced by the Parliament was April 20, for the writs to be issued and the writs will be returned on July 24.
However, it already became a public knowledge and it has been indicated that the campaign periods will be reduced from two months to one month.
Mr Gamato said if that happens, the dates for the reissue of writs will come back a month.
He said dates for the issue and return of writs depend on the outcome of the meetings with the NEC to confirm the election campaign.
He said it is a tentative date depending on the outcome of the NEC meeting on the change of the election campaign period.
“The important thing to know is that it is still within five year anniversary and it is not outside the law. It is not illegal to change the dates so the government can do that,” Mr Gamato said.
“There is a process going through which indicates that the government has expressed through NEC to reduce the campaign period.”
He said they are focusing on the January and March Parliament sittings to pass changes to the electoral laws.
“If Parliament decides to change the date, I have no choice but we have to go by the laws that are made by the Parliament
People must know that the Electoral Commission is not a law making body so if Parliament decides to change the electoral laws.”