The National, Monday July 1st, 2013
FORMER Western Highlands’ premier Lucas Roika is calling on the Electoral Commission to plan the local level government elections carefully so it turns out to become free, fair and safe.
Roika, a candidate contesting the Mt Hagen city mayor seat, raised his concern last Saturday at his home in Hagen Park.
He said his major concerns were the common roll and polling booths.
He said the Electoral Commission had to make sure the common roll was accurate.
Roika said that the other area was polling booths and only gazetted polling places should be considered legal.
Roika said he wanted to remind the Electoral Commission to look into these two areas.
“I’m a senior leader in the province and I’m contesting the mayor’s seat but that is not causing me to raise these issues but the two points are very important to us,” Roika said.
He said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had made a wise decision to let the people vote for presidents and the mayors, adding that he (O’Neill) was reviving the old provincial government system.
“We, the former premiers and provincial members, are thankful to O’Neill,” Roika said.
He said as this was the first time for the people to elect their presidents and mayors, his concern was how this LLG election would turn out if the Electoral Commission did not look into his two areas of concern.
“I’m not condemning the Electoral Commission but what I’m saying here is straight to the point where truth can prevail.
“I’m a senior leader and I do not want many people to miss out or supporters and candidates creating extra polling places or changing the location of polling booths.”