‘No voters list’ blamed for delayed elections.

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Western Provincial capital Gizo
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

THE non-availability of voters list has delayed the provincial elections in Western and Choiseul following dissolution of their Assemblies on 13th June 2022.

Minister of Provincial and Institutional Strengthening, Rollen Seleso clarified this when asked by Leader of Opposition, Matthew Wale in Parliament yesterday.

Mr Seleso said according to the section 9 of Provincial Government Act 1997, election should take place on the 4th Anniversary of the previous election which is June 14, 2022.

He said this could not eventuate due to non-availability of update voters list.

Therefore, Seleso used his power under 47 of the Act to put out an order for election to take place on December 14, 2022.

“This is to allow time for voters registration and preparation for elections of two provinces,” he added.

Seleso explained the situation in Western and Choiseul is unprecedented, they have not gone through this experience before.

“Therefore, this order clarifies how provincial government to be administered.

“The order to avoid further confusion,” he added.

Seleso said voter registration has started on August 2, 2022 and complete in end of October 2022.

Wale said this situation arose because the Ministry allowed it too late.

He asked whether there is power to run the affairs of province as delegated to public officers as opposed to elected officials.

However, Attorney General, John Muria Junior said in terms of section 47, it gives power to Minister to deal with the situation when there is nothing as provided in the Act.

He said “because it is not provided, we use Section 47 to create a provision to cater for that, so it is the avenue that ministry has taken”.


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