Muthuvel questions Govt on electoral boundaries

The separation of populated districts and electoral boundaries in the country will be done before the next general elections.

Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Kevin Isifu, said this when responding to questions raised by West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel in Parliament on Friday.

Biala LLG in WNB has a population of 60,000 people while Talasea district has close to 300,000 people; making service delivery a challenge.

Governor Muthuvel asked if the government was serious about the electoral boundaries separation and create additional districts.

“Are we serious about bringing those additional districts not only for West New Britain but those other highly populated districts?” Muthuvel queried.

“Can the government consider giving some special support grant to those districts? It is very unfair when you are giving K10 million to 50,000 population and the same to 300,000 population.

“When can we also in WNB, follow suit to ENB, New Ireland and Enga provinces in terms of giving some financial autonomy to us?”

The Minister for Inter-Government Relations assured Governor Muthuvel the separation of boundaries will be done before the next elections.

“The government knows the importance of these electoral boundaries and work is being done to sort out new boundaries before next election,” reiterated Isifu.

“The reform of decentralisation is being trialed out in East New Britain, New Ireland and Enga Province based on their performance but it does not mean only these three will get it.

“We are looking at the performance of each province and others who will be delegated the functions in the second stage of the program.”

Electoral boundaries separation is a key issue being reviewed by the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission under its election law review project.

(Governor Sasindran Muthuvel filepic)

Sally Pokiton