By Mike Puia
THE Honiara City Council (HCC) says there will be no by-election for Ward 12 (East Honiara) until funds are available.
HCC Mayor, Mr. Andrew Mua, said their by-election preparation works have been done but they are waiting on the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to provide funds for the actual conduct of the by-election.
Mua was responding to claims the Council has used $150,000 provided by the MHA for its Ward 12 by-election without public knowledge.
East Honiara chief, Mr. Stephen Firibae, said it’s been two years and their Ward is still without a Counsellor.
The Ward Counsellor, Richard Safue, died in 2016 and there has been no replacement.
Chief Firibae said for too long their Ward is not represented in the Council and services not reaching them.
“Our right for someone to represent us in the Council has been robed,” Chief Firibae said.
He said Choiseul and Western Province have done their by-elections while the HCC by-election did not happen.
Chief Firibae claimed this raised questions as the MHA has already provided $150,000 to the HCC to run its by-election.
But, Mua said the money chief Firibae was referring to is the Council’s service grant.
He said the MHA suggested that the Council used the money to conduct the by-election and that the money will be replaced but the Council was advised not to divert the money to any use other than for the Council’s service.
How long before a by-election is held, Mua said it depends on the availability of money.
He said this issue has been explained a couple of times to the public when it was raised but it seems some people do not get it right.
Mua the Council has done its part by completing the registration and nominations and now it’s up to the government.
He added the simple answer to this issue is “no money- no by-election”.