5 Apr 2012

PNG parliament debating delaying election by six months

4:19 pm on 5 April 2012

The Papua New Guinea has recommended to parliament that the national elections be deferred for six months.

The minister assisting Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on electoral issues, Waka Goi, made the recommendation on the floor of parliament today.

Mr Goi says the budget shortfall for the election was about 30 million US dollars and the electoral rolls are not ready for public inspection.

He also says security planning was not in order yet so he has called on parliament to consider delaying the elections for six month.

Parliament is debating the recommendation.

Mr O'Neill has previously stated he wants a full, free, fair and on-time election.

The electoral commissioner Andrew Trawen says the government does not have the power to suspend elections because the constitution lays out a strict five-year parliamentary timetable.

The Commission has also said that the rolls will be completed in time for the start of voting in late June.

Writs for the poll are due to be issued on April the 27th.