State to release polls fund

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By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
CHIEF Secretary Isaac Lupari, pictured, has instructed the Finance Department to release the K900,000 needed to conduct the Motu-Koitabu Assembly elections, according to Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.
Gamato said Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan was processing the release of the money.
“They have signed all the required financial documents to release the funds and I’m very happy for the Government,” he said.
The commission had been agitating over the delay in the release of the Government component of K900,000 and the K600,000 from the National Capital District Commission.
City manager Bernard Kipit said yesterday he was awaiting a meeting with the Electoral Commission officers to sort out a “misunderstanding” before releasing the K600,000.
“The understanding is that we will only pay directly to the service providers for services provided to the Electoral Commission to run the Motu-Koitabu Assembly elections,” he said.
“The NCDC is ready to do that right now. The NCDC Board is on standby to approve it once we meet with the Electoral Commission staff.”
Gamato said deputy commissioner for Corporate Services John Kalamorah has been communicating with the NCDC chairman of the Motu Koitabu election steering committee.
“There have been communications between us and Kipit’s officers. I’m just basically asking them to support us. After all under the constitution, it is our responsibility to run the elections.”
Gamato said the election was into the second week of campaigning. Voting is scheduled for Oct 3.
The Government had deferred all local level government elections, which were to be held this year, to next March.
It allowed only the Motu-Koita Assembly elections to go ahead this year.

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