The National, Friday 7th June 2013
By SHIRLYN BELDEN
THE 2013 local level government elections process is now underway after the writs for the 319 LLG presidents and 6,187 ward councillors were issued yesterday.
Nominations and campaigning have begun with nominations closing on Wednesday, but a dark cloud hangs over the election
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen has warned that financial problems and disruptive actions by disgruntled service providers in certain parts of the country remained and required urgent attention from the Government.
Service providers from last year’s national elections have locked provincial electoral offices in Mt Hagen, Madang and Goroka, demanding their payments.
This prompted Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc to assure the service providers that their debts would be settled soon.
Voting begins on July 6 and ends on Aug 9. The return of writs is expected on or before Aug 30.
The election is for local level government presidents and ward members to represent the people in the district and provincial governments.
Deputy Prime Minister and Inter-government Relations Minister Leo Dion signed the election writs.
There were three writs for the Motu-Koita LLG in the National Capital District and Central – each for the president, a member and a women’s representative.
Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio signed three writs for Angoram LLG – each for the president, ward member and open member.
Trawen said three ballot papers would be issued for voters in Angoram and Motu-Koita when they cast their votes. The rest of the LLGs and wards would have two.
He said the electoral rolls for all wards and LLGs had been received and were being processed, along with 20,000 new enrolment forms to be dispatched before polling.
He said all polling schedules for the provinces were ready and ballot papers were being printing to be dispatched to the provinces in a fortnight.
Trawen said Madang, Morobe, West Sepik, Jiwaka and Central would be using the 2012 national electoral rolls and the rest had submitted for enrolment forms.
Public servants in the provinces, including the provincial electoral offices, will conduct the election.
Candidates will pay K200 for the president’s position and ward member. Candidates in Motu-Koita and Angoram LLGs will pay K1,000.