EC lacks funds for boundaries review

National

By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato yesterday said they do not have funds to conduct electoral boundaries review for large electorates before next year’s general elections.
Gamato said the last electoral boundaries review report was tabled in Parliament in 2011 when Hela and Jiwaka were declared provinces.
“After that the Government has not funded the Boundary Review Commission to conduct the Boundary Reviews. Therefore, there is no report,” he said.
“Former commissioner Sir Andrew Trawen has been asking for funding (K19.5 million) but no funds have been provided.”
Gamato said, Kairuku-Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo told Siraka settlement last Sunday that his electorate with, Tambul-Nebliyer in Western Highlands, Gazelle (East New Britain), Alotau (Milne Bay) and Talasea (West New Britain) electorates would soon be spilt up.
Isoaimo said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had advised the MPs that PNGEC would soon table a consultative report in Parliament for the MPS to vote on the splitting of these large electorates.
“Kairuku-Hiri, with a land mass of 10,820sq kms, is a big electorate and K10 million District Support Improvement Programme fund is not enough. This electorate has rugged mountains, rivers and swampy land that you have to travel by boat, helicopter and truck to visit. To bring services in is hard because our population is half of the Central population,” Isoaimo said.
He said other districts in the province were small compared with his electorate.

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