Bougainville 2015 Election News : Do you qualify to be Bougainville President or Member of the House ?

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CANDIDATE REQUIREMENTS By JENNIFER NKUI Photo above : Election rolls preparation

Candidates intending to contest in this year’s ABG General Election are urged to consult the qualifying requirements for candidates before contesting in the election.

For details are below

91. QUALIFICATIONS FOR AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM ELECTION AS PRESIDENT

56. QUALIFICATIONS FOR AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM ELECTION

While issuing this call on Monday, the Acting ABG Electoral Commissioner George Manu stressed that this is to avoid court battles that may arise following the declaration of a candidate that is not qualified to contest in a particular seat.

He said intending candidates must come and check with us so we can advise you on what requirements you must fulfil before you can qualify to contest in the constituency, former combatants, regional women’s and presidential seats.

He then pointed out that according to the ABG Constitution, a member of the House of Representatives must not be less than 25 years of age and candidates intending to stand for election must also be qualified to vote in the elections of the Bougainville House of Representatives.

He added that in order to contest in one of the 33 constituency seats, a candidate must be a Bougainvillean and be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in the constituency for which the candidate wishes to nominate. Mr. Manu went on further saying the candidate must also have been in that constituency for at least five years immediately prior to nomination.

As for the regional seat for women, a candidate will be eligible to contest if she is a Bougainvillean and be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in that particular region that she will be contesting in. He said the woman candidate must also have resided continuously in that region for at least five years immediately prior to nomination.

And for those intending candidates for the three regional seats reserved for the former combatants, the requirement is that they must be a Bougainvillean and a former combatant.

The candidate must also be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in that region that he intends to contest and that he must also have resided continuously in that region for at least five years immediately prior to nomination.

On top of that the acting commissioner stated that the candidate’s nomination must be endorsed by twenty other former combatants from that region.

And in the presidential seat, the candidate must not be less than 40 years of age, is a Bougainvillean and is qualified to vote in the elections of the Bougainville House of Representatives.

According to the Bougainville Constitution, a Bougainvillean is defined as a person; • who is a member (whether by birth or by adoption according to custom by the clan lineage) of a Bougainvillean clan lineage (matrilineal or patrilineal) owning customary land in Bougainville; or • who is married (whether by law or custom) to a person regarded as a Bougainville; or • Who is a child one of whose parents is a Bougainvillean as per the above definition Intending candidates are advised to check with the Assistant Returning Officers or the regional returning officer to get more information on these requirements.

Below is an extract of section 56 of the Constitution of Bougainville that details the qualifications of candidates that are eligible to contest for the constituency, women and former combatants seats.

56. QUALIFICATIONS FOR AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM ELECTION.
(1) A member of the House of Representatives must be not less than 25 years of age.

(2) A candidate for election to the House of Representatives must be qualified to vote in elections to the House of Representatives.

(3) A candidate for election to the House of Representatives as a member referred to in Section 55(2)(b)(i) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives) must be a Bougainvillean and –
(a) be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in the constituency for which he wishes to nominate; or
(b) have resided continuously in that constituency for at least five years immediately prior to nomination; or
(c) have been born in that constituency.

(4) A candidate for election to the House of Representatives under Section
55(2)(b)(ii) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives) must be a woman and be a Bougainvillean and –
(a) be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in the Region (North, Central or South) of Bougainville for which she intends to nominate; or
(b) have resided continuously in that Region for at least five years immediately prior to nomination.

(5) A candidate for election to the House of Representatives under Section 55 (2)(b)(iii) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives) must be a Bougainvillean and a former combatant (as that term is defined in Schedule 2 (meaning of certain expressions)) to this Constitution and –
(a) be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in the Region (North, Central or South) of Bougainville for which he intends to nominate; or
(b) have resided continuously in that Region for at least five years immediately prior to nomination,
and have his nomination supported in accordance with Section 58(1)(d) (mode of nomination) of Schedule 10 (electoral provisions relating to the first general election of President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and members of the House of Representatives) or with the Bougainville law referred to in Section 106 (Bougainville Electoral Commissioner and elections generally).

(6) A person is not qualified to be a candidate for election, or to continue to be a candidate for election, referred to in Subsection (3), (4) or (5) if he has nominated in an election to be held at the same time, as a candidate –
(a) referred to in any other of these Subsections; or
(b) for the office of President.

(7) A person is not qualified to be, or to remain a member of the House of Representatives if –
(a) he or she is not entitled to vote in elections to the House of Representatives; or
(b) he or she is of unsound mind within the meaning of any law relating to the person and property of persons of unsound mind; or
(c) subject to Subsections (8) to (11) (inclusive), he or she is under sentence of death or imprisonment for a period exceeding three months; or
(d) he or she has been declared bankrupt by a court of competent jurisdiction and remains bankrupt.

(8) Where a person is under sentence of death or imprisonment for a period exceeding three months, the operation of Subsection (7)(c) is suspended until –
(a) the end of any statutory period allowed for appeals against the conviction or sentence; or
(b) if an appeal is lodged within the period referred to in Paragraph (a), the appeal is determined.

(9) The references in Subsection (8) to appeals and to the statutory period allowed for appeals shall, where there is provision for a series of appeals, be read as references to each appeal and to the statutory period allowed for each appeal.

(10) If a free pardon is granted, a conviction is quashed or a sentence is changed to a sentence of imprisonment for three months or less, or some other form of penalty (other than death) is substituted, the disqualification ceases, and if at the time of the pardon, quashing, change of sentence or substitution of penalty –
(a) the writ for the by-election has been issued – the member is not restored as a member of the House of Representatives and the by-
election proceeds according to law; or
(b) the writ for the by-election has not been issued-the member is restored as a member of the House of Representatives.

(11) In this section –
“appeal” includes any form of judicial appeal or judicial review;
“free pardon” means a free pardon granted under Section 151 (grant of pardon, etc.,) of the National Constitution;
“statutory period allowed for appeals” means a definite period
allowed by law for appeals, whether or not it is capable of
extension, but does not include an extension of such a
definite period granted or that may be granted unless it was granted within that definite period.

(12) Nothing in this section is intended to reduce any right conferred by Section 50 (right to vote and stand for public office) of the National Constitution, but it is the considered opinion of the People of Bougainville, expressed through the Bougainville Constitutional Commission and the Bougainville Constituent Assembly, that any restrictions imposed by this section are reasonable and are reasonably justifiable in a democratic society having a proper regard for the rights and dignity of mankind.

An extract from section 91 of the Bougainville Constitution detailing the eligible criteria for those intending to stand for the presidential seat.

91. QUALIFICATIONS FOR AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM ELECTION AS PRESIDENT.
(1) Until a Bougainville law made by an absolute majority vote provides otherwise, a President must be not less than 40 years of age.

(2) A candidate for election as President must be qualified to vote in elections to the House of Representatives.

(3) A candidate for election as President must be a Bougainvillean.

(4) A person is not qualified to stand, or to continue to stand for election as President if –
(a) he is not qualified or becomes disqualified, in accordance with Section 110 (right to vote) to vote in an election to the House of Representatives; or
(b) he is of unsound mind within the meaning of any law relating to the person and property of persons of unsound mind; or
(c) he is under, or becomes subject to, a sentence of death or imprisonment for a period of more than three months; or
(d) he is, or becomes disqualified from standing for election under this Constitution; or
(e) he is, or becomes, a member of, or a candidate for election or appointment to, the National Parliament, or to the House of Representatives; or
(f) he has already been elected as President on two occasions; or
(g) he has been declared bankrupt by a court of competent jurisdiction, and remains bankrupt; or
(h) he has nominated in an election to be held at the same time as a candidate for election as –
(i) a member representing a single member constituency under Section 55(b)(i) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives); or
(ii) a woman member to represent the interests of women under Section 55(2)(b)(ii) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives); or
(iii) a former combatant member to represent the interests of former combatant members under Section 55(2)(b)(iii) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives); or
(i) if the election is an election for President under Section 58(5)(d) (recall of member of the House of Representatives) and the person is the person whose recall is the subject of the poll under Section 58(5)(c) (recall of member of the House of Representatives).

(5) Nothing in Subsection (1) is intended to reduce any right conferred by Section 50 (right to vote and stand for public office) of the National Constitution, but it is the considered opinion of the People of Bougainville expressed through the Bougainville Constitutional Commission and the Bougainville Constituent Assembly, that any restrictions imposed by this section are reasonable and are reasonably justifiable in a democratic society having a proper regard for the rights and dignity of mankind.

 

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