The National, Thursday July 11th, 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
A CANDIDATE for the Tari Town lord mayor’s seat in Hela is calling for a peaceful local level government election, saying people must choose good leaders.
James Palana, from Kupari village, said the system of forcing relatives and tribesmen to vote for a particular candidate was something of the past that should not be practised in this election.
“This idea, which has become the norm in the region, has affected the system of choosing good and quality leaders,” he said.
Palana said that system had hindered development because those leaders did what they wanted to because they knew they would be re-elected based on their tribal connections.
He urged the people of Hela to work together for free and fair elections, and called on police to intervene quickly in any uprisings during polling.
Former Pii-Nakia councillor Hiru Olape supported him, saying people must learn to vote for leaders they thought would help develop their wards.
“This primitive way of choosing leaders by force and bribery must be stopped and honest leaders must be elected to work alongside our local MPs,” he said.
He said many candidates were going around offering money to voters and people must understand that these were the very people who were starting with corruption.
Last Wednesday, candidates in the Tepi LLG were given the opportunity to speak of their aspirations in front of a packed crowed after the launching of the Tari-Pori district strategic development plan by Finance Minister and Tari-Pori MP James Marape.