Call For PNG Government To Fund Failed Local Government Elections

'Leadership vacuum' not limited to empty regional seat in need of by-election

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 28, 2016) – The Government must find money to fund the failed local level government (LLG) elections in the new Hela province, said former Tari mayor George Tagobe.

Mr Tagobe said this after it was reported that the PNG Electoral Commission needs about K9 million [US$2,784,000] to conduct the by-election of the Hela regional seat left vacant by the passing of Anderson Pawa Agiru two months ago.

Mr Tagobe said there are failed LLGs in the province namely Tagali, Hayapuga and Tari Urban in Tari-Pori district and the North and South Koroba LLGs in Koroba Lake Kopiago districts.

Two Hela Open MPs Francis Potape (Komo-Margarima) and Phillip Undialu (Koroba-Lake Kopiago) are in the tussle for the acting Governor’s post with one faction’s attempt to bring into the provincial assembly the five failed LLG presidents resulted in a near nasty confrontation in Tari recently during the chaotic and futile provincial assembly meeting to vote for the acting Governor.

Mr Tagobe said there is currently ‘leadership vacuum’ in the province and part of it is due to government’s failure to fund the failed LLG elections in Hela and few other parts of the Highlands region.

Mr Tagobe warned that the government must not let the by-election of the Hela regional seat take precedence over the failed LLG seats. He instead called on the Government to be fair and find money to conduct by-elections for both the Hela regional seat and the failed LLGs. Mr Tagobe’s comments come after certain individuals from Hela province are seeking legal actions against the State to find money and conduct the Hela Regional by-election.

PNG Post-Courier
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