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PNG Watchdog files Supreme Court reference

The proposal by the National Government to increase election nomination and petition fees, has been registered to be heard by the Courts.

The Ombudsman Commission has filed a Supreme Court Reference, seeking clarification on the two proposed amendments, which are currently before Parliament.

The amendments have called for the nomination fees to be increased from one thousand kina to 10 thousand kina, while the security fee for election petitions will increase from 5 thousand kina to 20 thousand kina.

Acting Chief Ombudsman Micheal Dick wants the Supreme Court to consider the question of proposed amendments to section 103 of the constitution and section 87 and section 209 of the organic law on national and local government elections are constitutional.

This is not the first time the leadership watchdog has invoked its
powers to increase the nomination fees, it did so in 1982 when the fees were increased from 100 to 1000 kina and in 1992 as well.
They are questioning whether the changes will justify rights and dignity of persons to stand for public office.

The first vote for the proposed amendments was taken last Monday in parliament.

The commission wants to put a stop to further deliberations on the matter until the high court hears the case. NBC/PNG Today
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