IMAGINE you are a rugby league supporter attending your team’s grand final match. Five minutes before the match, the referee consults the opposing team and announces there will be new rules.
That is exactly what is about to happen in Papua New Guinea during this election year.
Papua New Guinea’s electoral commissioner Patilias Gamato is reported to prefer the deferral of PNG’s national elections in order to facilitate new rules proposed by the unpopular O’Neill regime.
Gamato told The National newspaper:
“In light of the decision by NEC (National Executive Council) to recommend the proposed legislative changes on election to reduce the campaign period from two months to one month, that will slightly affect the dates that I’ve announced.
“The government, through NEC, is focused on calling parliament on 24 January for the first reading of the amendments that they are proposing to parliament.”
Gamato however is not the villain as he will be only implementing the law of the land if parliament passes the changes.
The real villain is the O’Neill regime.
In this PNG vs O’Neill regime match, the referee will be forced to change to rules of the game.
Gamato further explained how the election will be rigged by the O’Neill regime:
“The second reading will be in March. NEC and the caucus are adamant to make those changes.
“If that goes through, I will have to recommend new dates to the governor-general to approve. Once that is done, I can announce new dates.
“Most likely, it will come down to 20 May, which is still within the fifth anniversary (of return of writs). So there’s no problem with that.
“I will say that the dates as announced will remain. If in the January session parliament decides to make the first reading then I’ll have to ask the governor-general to change the dates.”
Papua New Guinea’s elections have never been deferred previously to facilitate changes to the goal posts.
Papua New Guineans must oppose the changing of the rules just when the political match is about to start.
Do not let your democratic rights be flushed down the toilet by an unpopular regime.