PM MARAPE: LLG BOUNDARIES AFFECTED BY CREATION OF NEW ELECTORATES TO BE FINALIZED BEFORE 2024 LLG ELECTIONS

Wepio Media Agency
Thursday 03/O8/2023

During question time in the parliamentary sitting of August 2, 2023, Member for Bulolo Sam Basil Jnr raised a question without notice to the Prime Minster James Marape if he could recall the Electoral Boundaries Commission and make funds available in order for them to finalize the boundaries of the 13 newly created electorates before the 2024 Local Level Government (LLG) Elections. In his reply Marape assured Basil that the work is ongoing and all boundaries will be finalized before the end of the 2023 Parliamentary year.

On March 22, 2022, the 10th National Parliament voted to accept the recommendations of the Electoral Boundaries Commission (ECB) Report 2021 for the creation of the 13 new Open Electorates after PM Marape presented the report to Parliament. The acceptance of the report was partly effected in the 2022 National General Election with 7 new Electorates and the remaining 6 new Electorates will be effected in the 2027 National General Election.

The young Basil Jnr whose late father Sam Basil, the Deputy Prime Minister at the time was a key figure in pushing for the creation of the new electorates was concerned that a legal nightmare was looming if the boundaries were not settled before the 2024 LLG Elections and the 2027 National General Elections.

“Since the creation of the new electorates, the LLGs are still recognized by the government gazette as registered under their old electorates names. For example, my Watut LLG in Bulolo is still under Wau – Bulolo Electorate. Wau – Bulolo electorate was abolished and Wau – Waria and Bulolo Electorates were created, so Watut LLG technically comes under an electorate that doesn’t exist anymore. The LLGs affected are not only in my electorate but all the other newly created electorates as well. The coming LLG elections will create a lot of legal implications if this is not sorted out properly,” Mr. Basil told parliament during his question to PM Marape.

The questions and concerns of the Bulolo MP were settled when the Prime Minister James Marape assured him and constituents of the new electorate that all remaining work will be completed by the relevant authorizes before the end of the 2023 parliamentary year.

“I want to give assurance to the Member for Bulolo that work is taking place as we speak and work will be completed before this parliamentary year ends. Some matters that requires the parliament’s attention will be brought to the parliament to clear, approve and pass into Law,” said PM Marape in his answer to the Bulolo MP.

“The Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs has been tasked to look into this matter. I will get the department concerned (DPLLGA) through the Minister to update us on the work they have been doing and the consequential amendments that needs to take place to be brought back into parliament. We will also get the Electoral Boundary Commission to work and prepare these LLGs for the 2024 LLG Elections,” PM Marape told parliament.

The acceptance of the 2021 EBC Recommendations to establish 13 new Open Electorates and Districts was the first in 45 years since independence after 6 previous reports in 1981, 1985, 1986, 2005 and 2006 were rejected by the parliament. This was a historic achievement by the Pangu led government.

The remaining tasks of the EBC is to recommend abolition, relocation, re-proclamation, amendments and establishments of 68 Local-level Governments and Wards in the 67 Open Electorates and Districts affected by the EBC Report.

The mapping tasks will include drawing of LLG boundaries and inserting of Ward names and other legend descriptions on the 16 new maps. It requires careful and consistent consultation with NSO Census data (place names) and LLG Proclamations and Mapping Bureau. This action will finally require full printing of new 102 Electoral Maps replacing the 2021 maps for the country before going to Elections.

The Electoral Boundaries maps to be redrawn are for;

1) Alotau Open Electorate (amend)
2) Baniara Open Electorate (new)
3) Moresby North West Open Electorate (amend)
4) Moresby South Open Electorate (amend)
5) Motu Koitabu Open Electorate (new)
6) Gazelle Open Electorate (amend)
7) Pomio Open Electorate (amend)
8) Baining Open Electorate (new)
9) Angoram Open Electorate (amend)
10) Middle Sepik Open Electorate (new)
11) Imbongu Open Eletorate (amend)
12) Kagua Erave Open Electorate (amend)
13) Mendi Open Electorate (amend)
14) Mendi Central Open Electorate (new)
15) South Wahgi Open Electorate (rename, amend)
16) Anglimp Open Electorate (new)

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