LLG polls to proceed: Marape

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PRIME Minister James Marape says the local level government (LLG) elections in the country will proceed as schedule with nominations opening today.
Marape made the remarks in response to a question by Morobe Governor Ginson Soanu on the council elections.
He said the LLG elections should have been three months after the 2017 general elections but had been delayed for almost two and half years.
He said the deferral had also affected the term of ward councillors (five years) which would now be reduced to two and half years.
Soanu said during the Pangu Party celebrations in Lae, a councillor petitioned the prime minister as well but for the benefit of all candidates going into the council elections, he wanted to know if the councillor’s term would end in 2022, as it is supposed to, or would the terms be for the full five-year period to make up for lost time and end in 2025.
Marape said the LLG elections needed to run concurrently with the general elections and the current election was to elect officials to hold office until the next mandated election period in 2022.
Soanu said there was no provision in the law that allowed for councillors and presidents to hold off until 2022 in the vacuum create by noncompliance to full election process.
“So I don’t think law provides for them to hold office until 2022,” he said.
He however proposed to Parliament for amendments to be made to the Organic law to extend the term of office for the councillors to serve a full five-year term.

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