O’Neill confirms LLG polls for April

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PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has assured the nation that the local level government elections will be conducted in April “without any more delay”.
“The Minister for Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs will issue the writs very shortly and the elections will be conducted around April 19,” O’Neill said.
“Twelve months is long enough and only because of possible disruptions to general elections that it was delayed.”
O’Neill was answering a question from West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel on the local level government elections and payment of councillors’ allowances.
“I can assure the good governor and all the members of this House that it is important that people chose their councillors and council presidents,” O’Neill said.
He said the elections would be conducted by Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato supported by the Department of Provincial and Local-Level Government Affairs.
“We have made available close to K100,000 in the 2019 budget to fund these elections,” O’Neill said.
“Technical support will be given by the Government.
“We are urging that the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission work with the districts and the provinces so that we can have smooth elections.”
O’Neill said he had been advised by Treasury that all the allowances and entitlements for councillors up to December 2018 had been paid.
“If there are some instances where one or two councillors have missed out, we will get our officers to investigate,” he said.
“This will be the case where there are some council election disputes from the previous elections where there were some failed elections in some locallevel government areas.”
O’Neill said the decision on the election of the LLG presidents would be made by the provincial government.