The National, Friday 31st May 2013
By ELIZABETH VUVU
ONLY a small number of public servants in East New Britain will be utilised during the upcoming local level government elections while polling and counting officials will be recruited from the wards.
Provincial election steering committee chairman Edward Lamur said this yesterday when responding to concerns whether public offices would be empty during the election period.
“A small number of public servants will be involved in the LLG elections but polling and counting officials will be recruited by the 18 assistant returning officers and their names will be made known next week after the issue of writs on June 6,” he said.
Lamur said when nominations begin next Thursday, the 18 assistant returning officers would be at the 18 LLG offices to receive nominations.
He said nomination fees for president and council seat was K200.
“Awareness has kicked off with the Electoral Commission directly engaging some CSOs to conduct election awareness in the four districts,” Lamur said.
Meanwhile, the four assistant returning officers have given an update on election preparations in their respective areas.
The assistant returning officer for Bitapaka LLG and team leader for Kokopo district, Thomas Monep, said polling schedules for the four LLGs of Bitapaka, Duke of York (DOY), Raluana, Kokopo-Vunamami urban was completed and recruitment of polling and counting officials were also completed.
“There are a total of 19 polling teams to cover 84 ward councils – Raluana four teams to cover 21 wards, DOY four teams to cover 21 wards, Kokopo-Vunamami four teams to cover 20 wards and Bitapaka seven teams to cover 22 wards,” he said.
Monep said the number of polling teams for Bitapaka was increased from four to seven to cater for the numerous plantations in the LLG.
“Kokopo district will be electing three presidents and one town mayor for Kokopo-Vunamami urban LLG,” he said. Team leader Gazelle district and assistant returning officer for Toma-Vunadidir said the LLG would have seven teams.
Pomio team leader and assistant returning officer for Sinivit Alan Balbal said East Pomio would have three teams to cover 13 wards, Central Inland Pomio 10 teams to cover 34 wards, West Pomio Mamusi 10 teams to cover 35 wards, Melkoi five teams to cover 19 wards and Sinivit with five teams to cover 18 wards.
For the Rabaul district, Watom island assistant returning officer Kepas Piniau said Kabiu LLG would have four teams, Balanataman LLG with seven teams, Rabaul Urban with two teams and Watom LLG with one team.