Electoral commissioner, Patilias Gamato, responded to a previous blog post titled WTF! ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER! WHY THE DOUBLE STANDARDS?
This is his unedited reply to the blog post. The points are numbered to allow easy reading.
No, I just saw it in Auckland, NZ… I am here to meet the Electoral Commissioner after attending Electoral Commissioner’s workshop for heads of Elections in the Pacific at Nadi, Fiji. On the caption; (WTF! Electoral Commissioner, Why the Double Standard?
- My position is clear and its like this. PNG Electoral Commission is seeking legal advice from State Solicitor on whether PNG Electoral Commission can go ahead and conduct the Referendum for the students.
- Under the law, I can only conduct the elections for National and LLG Elections and Industrial elections.
- It does not say election or referendum for University students actions, unless it is specifically written into their Constitution.
- I have advised the caretaker Electoral Commissioner Mr. John Kalamoroh to seek advice from State Solicitors and that the State Solicitor must provide in writing to me as Electoral Commissioner so that I can use that to advise them.
- If the advice is ok to proceed with referendum, obviously we will conduct the referendum for them, no problems with that.
- I don’t think this is double standard. It must be done legally and common sense must prevail at all times especially dealing with public issues as such.
- The student’s referendum in my view is not an industrial action rather more political against the Government so I need proper legal advice on this type of actions that they want to take from State Solicitor.
- I am in constant contact with my office. They are also waiting for the legal advice from State lawyers.
- John has advised the students when they went to seek our advice on Friday, 13th May 2016.”