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East Rigo local level government ward members at the swearing-in ceremony at Kwikila Secondary School in Rigo district, Central this week.
East Rigo is a new LLG after the old Rigo Inland LLG was split.
The ceremony saw 92 councillors and four presidents sworn in.
– Nationalpic by CLIFFORD FAIPARIK

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Councillors, presidents to serve reduced terms

East Rigo LLG councillor Vai Manu after the swearing in ceremony at the Kwikila Secondary School hall on Tuesday. East Rigo is also a new LLG after the old Rigo inland LLG was split. – Nationalpic by CLIFFORD FAIPARIK

THE declared councillors from the local level government (LLG) elections will only serve two and a half years in office, Department of Provincial and LLG secretary Dickson Guina says.
Guina said there were 6,385 councillors from the wards and 331 presidents from LLGs throughout the country who would serve the reduced terms unless the Government amended the Organic Law on elections that would extend their terms to the normal five years.
“According to law, the LLG and national elections should be run concurrently but that didn’t happen at the last national elections and the LLG elections were held last month.”
Guina made the remarks when witnessing the swearing-in of the 92 councillors and elections of four presidents in Rigo, Central, on Tuesday.
“If the law does not change, you will only serve two and a half years and go back to the polls in 2022.”
He said whichever way, the councillors and presidents would have to start their work to help bring services and development to their LLGs; working with their respective local MPs and district and provincial administrations.
Guina also advised the councillors and presidents that Inter-Government Relations Minister Pila Niningi had the power to terminate councillors who did not perform.
He also thanked the O’Neill government and current Government for paying out all the councillors from the last term.
Meanwhile, a person living with a disability has regained his council seat for the second time.
Vai Manu won his seat in ward 13 in the newly created East Rigo LLG.
“I look after seven villages with over 300 voting population,” Manu said.
“I was a councillor in the last term when it was ward seven in the former Rigo Inland LLG before it was split into East Rigo and North Rigo LLGs.”
Manu said he was voted back for a second time mainly by the youths and women because despite his handicap he had maintained peace and good order in the community and had got the people to work together.

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