VOTERS will elect councillors who will then select local level government presidents starting this year, says Inter-government Relations Minister Kevin Isifu.
He said the past practice was for voters to elect the presidents.
“Voters will elect the councillors who will then go to their respective chambers and pick from among themselves who is to be the LLG president,” he said.
Isifu said they had gone back to the old voting system because of issues arising from people directly voting for their LLG presidents.
“I would also like to inform the country that due to so many issues arising as a result of the direct election of LLG heads, the National Executive Council rescinded its previous decisions to allow provinces to have their LLGs heads elected directly by the voters,” he said. He said the reasons for the change were:
- 27 LLGs and some ward elections were failed in 2013 which did not have an elected representative until now. It is an unfair method because people from those failed elections have been denied their rights to have representations;
- many complaints were received from ward councillors that because of the direct election, presidents and mayors never listened to them;
- No LLG meetings were conducted to properly debate and make collective decisions in the LLG assemblies;
- Presidents have been making one-man decisions outside of the LLG assemblies without the knowledge of the ward councillors and the people;
- political infighting and instability in the provincial assemblies and district development authority boards;
- gross abuse and misuse of State assets; and,
- Failure to furnish annual reports as required by law.
Isifu called on governors to understand the issues and support the Government’s decision.