The National, Friday October 11th, 2013
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
ELECTORAL officals and service providers have issued an ultimatum that there will be no by-election for the Madang open seat until all outstanding debts are paid.
A decision was reached on Wednesday by those from the Usino-Bundi Gama LLG, which reflected issues affecting those of the other 18 LLGs.
The ultimatum stemmed from what the aggrieved parties claimed was a no-care attitude by the PNG Electoral Commission and the national government.
They said the commission had ignored constant reminders from the provincial electoral office on this issue.
Beda Kadamon, an electoral official in Bundi, said the government was being irresponsible in making available K2.5 million for the by-election when it should have cleared an outstanding debt of K1.7 million incurred from the LLG elections.
“How come they are saying there’s no money to this office’s requests to pay service providers, then say that there is money now for the open by election?” he asked.
Provincial election manager Cyril Retaw, who sympathised with the frustrated crowd, said there was nothing he could do except await the outcome of the petition as it had indicated that there would be massive destruction if the by-election for the open seat was conducted.
The petition calls for part of the K2.5 million to be used to offset expenses immediately; a call for an immediate audit of the 2012 budgeted election expenses and that payments for election expenses be made from Madang and not Port Moresby.