21 May 2012

Campaigning begins ahead of PNG's election

12:56 pm on 21 May 2012

Campaigning ahead of the general election is in full stride in Papua New Guinea after the Governor-General signed the writs for the election process to begin.

Sir Michael Ogio signed writs for 111 seats, made up of 89 open electorates and 22 provincial seats including two newly-created provinces, Hela and Jiwaka.

Following months of discussion among politicians about the need to defer the five-yearly election due to problems with the electoral roll, polling is set to begin as originally scheduled in late June.

The Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen says it's a relief to get the election underway.

"The issue on the deferral and the government's position on the election made it very difficult for us [the Electoral Commission] in the last five or six weeks. But that's now cleared, with the parliament rising last week so we're ready for the election and I'm very much happy that the Governor-General was able to sign the writs on Friday."

Andrew Trawen