Day: May 1, 2018

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Deferral of LLG elections is unconstitutional Government knows when elections are due and should prepare adequately

Port Moresby, 1 May 2018 – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has expressed great
concern on constitutionality of the reported deferral of the Local Level Government (LLG)
Elections to April 2019.

It is TIPNG’s view that the deferral of the LLG Elections is a breach of the Constitution.
Deferral of the LLG elections to hold them later is a complete denial of statutory and
constitutional responsibilities which is not consistent with the leadership that the people of
Papua New Guinea deserve.The spirit of the constitution is that National & Local Elections
should have concurrent terms.

TIPNG is seriously concerned that such a move to defer the LLG Elections sets a precedent and
denies the people of Papua New Guinea the chance to exercise their democratic right to
periodically elect their local level governments. Any dilution of this right, even if for pragmatic
reasons is unacceptable. The Government clearly knows when these elections are due and
should prepare adequately for it.

“If the deferral was sought by Parliament, we (TIPNG) request bodies such as the Ombudsman
Commission of PNG and Constitutional Law Reform Commission(CLRC) to protect our
constitutional rights by seeking a Supreme Court Reference, ” said Chairman of TIPNG, Mr
Lawrence Stephens.

TIPNG also calls on the Minister for Provincial & Local Level Government
Affairs to clarify the status of incumbent councillors & presidents and how development grants
will be disbursed given the reported status of LLG Election.

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Maru must act on Koloma to preserve Integrity of NSO & NID

Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) is calling on the
Minister for National Planning Richard Maru to take immediate steps to restore integrity of both the
multi-million National Identity (NID) Project and National Statistical Office (NSO) by suspending the
acting National Statistician Mr. RokoKoloma who is being investigated by the RPNGC Fraud Squad.

TIPNG has made this call after media reports that Mr. Koloma is being sought by the police in regards
to a discrepancy of more than K24m in the NSO accounts after the Department of Finance conducted an
audit investigation in 2017.

“To preserve the integrity of the NSO and the NID Project, the Minister for National Planning must
suspend Mr. Koloma until the Police have completed their investigations, citizens must not just turn a
blind eye at such vast sums of public monies disappearing” said Chairman of TIPNG Mr. Lawrence
Stephens.

“The NID is vital to safeguarding our democracy and the NSO is essential to measure the government’s
efforts in national development. They are both assets of the people of Papua New Guinea and should be
afforded the proper respect by the public servants employed as their caretakers,” said Mr Stephens.

TIPNG launched 3 campaigns for 2018, one of which called for there to be a full audit of the NID so as
to restore confidence before the Project was rolled out across the country. At the time the Deputy Prime
Minister, who is also the former National Planning Minister, said an independent audit committee would
be established by February to quell justifiable public concern, unfortunately there is no indication that
committee has been established.

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