The number of candidates contesting for the Lord Mayor post in Lae City has more than doubled compared tothe last election.
As of 4pm Thursday, 43 candidates, including two women, have nominated for the seat.
The high interest inthe local level government’seat comes eight months afterthe government announced an unprecedented amount of funding tothe districts.
Local level government’seats have long been seenthe poor cousin ofthe National Parliament seats. While many consideredthe third tier of government has importantomany voters don’t take the elections seriously.
Betthe interest shown in this election has been an eye opener for many. Candidates have planned relatively extravagant displays during nomination. One candidate cycled home followed by three truckloads of supporters.
&ldquoIn 2008, we had 28 candidates. This year, we’ve registered 43,” says assistant returning officer for Lae, Asigau Tau.
The former Lord mayor, James Khay, is up against 42 ther candidates including two women. Yesterday, the assistant coach ofthe Kumuls and CEO ofthe Ipatas Cup, Timothy Lepa nominated for the Lord Mayor seat.
“There has to be change,” Lepa said at a news conference yesterday.
Lepa says youth development is a priority. Meanwhile, Thompson Benguma, engineer and biofuel enthusiast also wants to be Lord Mayor. He wants to solve Lae City’s waste problem.
“Lae produces 200 tons of waste every year. That volume of waste can be used to generate money.”
Bet as in all political processes,the public remain skeptical ofthe intentions ofthe candidates. The voices coming from at least one ward area in Lae City indicate thatthe concerns are very basic:they want water, power and good roads.
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