LLG elections deferred, K70m outstanding

The Local Level Government elections will be deferred to next year.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill indicated in parliament yesterday that NEC will approve the submission for LLG Elections deferral when they meet this Thursday.

The submission to defer the Local Level Government elections is necessary because there are outstanding issues the Government needs to address; this includes the outstanding allowances for Council Presidents.

Enga Province is among the provinces affected, prompting the Governor, Peter Ipatas, to ask for the confirmation of the election dates in parliament.

Prime Minister O'Neill confirmed there are more than K70 million outstanding allowances; money to be paid to ward councillors and presidents throughout the country.

“There are some councillors throughout the country who have received their allowances. There are few that are outstanding. But in total I am told, it’s just over K70 million plus. That is the outstanding that that has to be paid until the elections take place.”

The Prime Minister said following requests from many provincial governments and many of the LLGs throughout the country, he directed the Minister responsible for Elections to seek legal advice.

Following legal advice gathered by the Minister Responsible for Elections and discussions with the Electoral Commissioner, the Prime Minister said they’ve put in writing to Government that the LLG elections can be deferred. 

“We will use the K100 million that we have budgeted for the LLG elections to pay off all the councillors’ outstanding debts, outstanding allowances so that we don’t owe anybody any claims whatsoever as we conduct the elections.”

For these reasons and others, Minister responsible for National Elections, Inter Government Minister Kevin Isifu, will make a submission to NEC about the deferral when they meet this Thursday.

“I can inform this honourable house that cabinet will meet tomorrow (Thursday). I would assume the cabinet will endorse the submission that will be brought in by Minister for Inter Government Relations requesting cabinet to endorse the approval to defer the elections to April 2019.”

Initially, the Electoral Commission had scheduled for the LLG Elections to take place next month.

Charmaine Poriambep