Sir Mekere calls for EAC reinstatement

Former Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, us urging Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, to reinstate the Election Advisory Committee (EAC).

In a statement, Sir Mekere said the reinstatement of the inactive body will be a step towards a fully transparent National Elections this year.

“I urge the Chief Electoral Commissioner to activate the EAC and have regular meetings with it in the critical period leading up to the election. I am sure they can also help him to discharge his duties independently and effectively.”

The EAC is provided for under Section 69 of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government elections of the Constitution

The EAC is to provide recommendations and advice to the Electoral Commission on a wide range of matters covered by the Organic Law and on other matters referred to it by the Electoral Commission.

EAC members include the Chief Ombudsman (or his nominee) and two others. They provide recommendations or advice to the EC only, and should meet as often as required and should adopt its own procedures to regulate its proceedings.

“It would be an easy, inexpensive and very effective way to increase public scrutiny of the elections,” Sir Mekere said.

“Transparency and accountability are the cornerstone of free and fair elections.

“I have every confidence that this is what the Chief Electoral Commissioner and his staff are striving to achieve. I urge candidates and the public to give full support to the Electoral Commission to make its job easier.

“The knowledge of public support and public scrutiny will give the Chief Electoral Commissioner the freedom to play his independent constitutional role and duty.”

Meanwhile, Sir Mekere has been encouraged by Gamato’s invitation to various organisations to observe and monitor the conduct of elections.

This he said, was good news following the Commonwealth Observer Group report which labeled the 2012 Elections corrupted.

“Again the lack of funding from the National Government to implement the many sensible recommendations of the Commonwealth Observer Group threatens the prospect of free and fair elections,” Sir Mekere said.

“It is therefore imperative that people and organisations support the Electoral Commission in its attempts to protect the election and protect our parliamentary democracy.”

Sir Mekere who is yet to make an announcement on whether he will contest the 2017 National Elections is also urging all voters in NCD to confirm they are on the Common Roll, and register if they are not.


Picture: Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato