The National, Monday 3rd June 2013
WHILE there are calls for the mapping out of electoral boundaries in Southern Highlands and Jiwaka, people in the northern part of Milne Bay, especially Rabaraba, are calling for a separate electorate.
The suggestion is particularly for those in the three local level government (LLGs) areas of Daga, Makamaka and Weraura, which share both coastal and inland provincial boundaries with Northern and Central.
There is never a better time to debate the issue than ahead of the upcoming LLG elections this month, a Taubadi ward councillor in Weraura LLG area, Ausia Baianum said in a statement last Thursday.
Surprisingly, candidates intending to contest for presidency seats in these LLGs have been taken to task on whether Rabaraba should be a separate electorate. It could be one of the agendas in their campaign.
Baianum said that Rabaraba area should have a separate electorate in the next election in 2017.
“One of the pressing issues for any of the successful council presidents from the Rabaraba area, elected in the provincial assembly, is to push for a separate electorate for these LLG areas,” he said.
When elected, he said they should inform the current Alotau MP Charles Abel and Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon and convince them to have Rabaraba as a separate electorate before 2017.
“Alotau open is a big electorate covering seven LLG areas. The share of cake which Rabaraba district normally gets every year was nothing compared to the area it covers and the ever-increasing population.”
He also urged those elected to take the matter up further with the national government to get appropriate authorities such as the electoral boundaries commission and the PNG Electoral Commission to consider the issue, deliberate on and implement it if the green light was given.
Since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has assured the Electoral Commission of the Government’s support to address issues about electoral boundaries, the people of Rabaraba are hopeful that their case would be given consideration.