Councillor wants people to vote for LLG presidents, ward councillors


A WARD councillor has supported Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s move to have provincial governments choose whether their local-level government (LLG) presidents would be voted in by their people or by ward councillors.
Gayang Niaura, a councillor for ward 17 of Morobe LLG in Huon Gulf, Morobe, told The National that people should vote for their leaders in small governments.
“LLGs are made for the people in an area,” he said.
“The people at the community level must choose their ward councillor and also choose their LLG presidents.
“For Morobe, we cannot allow ward councilors to vote the LLG president because we would allow lobbying to take place.
“Lobbying will bring politics to the LLGs, which is not good for people.”
Niaura said the in the colonial era, ward councillors were simple people who were aware of traditions and customs within an area, and promoted unity.
Therefore, they truly represented the people.
“When the reform happened in the 1970, the provincial government concentrated on national issues, and forgot about the LLGs,” he said.
“LLG presidents then took up posts in the provincial governments and district administrations and forgot to go back to their LLGs and wards,” he said.
Meanwhile, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has been reported as saying that the National Executive Council, in December 2015, decided that ward councilors would be electing their LLG presidents.
Gamato confirmed that the decision stood and unless there was a change, the Electoral Commission would conduct one election for the ward members using the limited preferential voting system.

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