Voters urged to report election offences

Deputy Principal Electoral Officer, Gary Tavoa, has encouraged voters in the upcoming SHEFA, PENAMA, MALAMPA and TAFEA Provincial Elections to become watchdogs against election offences such as bribery and treating in attempts to win votes.

“It is important for voters to become watchdogs during the campaign period to ensure political parties, party agents and candidates adhere to the laws,” he said.

“They must not be involved in offences such as anti-influence, treating and bribery to win votes.

“Anti-influence in the sense of forcing someone to vote for a political party, treating such as providing food and entertainment to persuade voters for political gain and bribery includes giving out cash, iron roofing or pots to people in need in exchange for their votes.

“Campaign handouts should have already been stopped after the dissolution of councils. Voters and candidates should report election offences with strong evidence to the Electoral Office.

“Under the law, anyone can lodge an election dispute after election.”

Chairman of the Electoral Commission Edward Kaltamat, has encouraged everyone above 18 years to be good citizens by participating in the upcoming provincial elections.

He urged voters to evaluate the leaders and choose those with ethics to make good decisions for their provinces.

He said leaders are good listeners, honest and transparent when it comes to using constituency allowances.

Meanwhile, individuals applying to be a candidate of the provincial elections have until tomorrow to submit their applications.

Application forms must be submitted with all required documents. Forms should be submitted before 5pm.

Election campaigns will start on the 27th of this month after the publication of the list of qualified candidates. Campaigns will end on May 9 — 48 hours before the polling date.

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