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

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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