A high powered government delegation is in New Ireland Province this week, for the ongoing consultation of the Election Law review.
The team, led by Chairman of the Constitutional Law and Reform Commission, Robert Atiyafa, accompanied by CLRC Commissioners; including Rabaul MP Dr. Allan Marat, Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor Administration of UPNG, Professor Mange Matui, Dr. William Longgar, PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, and Registrar of Political Parties, Dr. Alphonse Gelu.
The New Ireland Provincial Administrator, Lamiller Pawut, thanked the delegation for giving prominence to New Ireland, by visiting the province for the consultation and gave assurance to work with them in the three-day consultation.
Mr. Atiyafa said the team was happy to be in the province and hear their thoughts this time around on the election law, and reiterated the point that has been highlighted throughout the consultation, that the time is right for the review of the Election Law which has not been reviewed for more than 50 years.
“Seven years from now, we will be celebrating 50 years of Independence, so the current review will be an achievement and legacy for the nation in terms of good governance,” said Mr. Atiyafa.
The program started today, with the team conducting an Inquiry with the political leaders, including LLG and ward members, the provincial administration and DDA CEO’s a well as the Provincial Election Steering Committee.
Among issues raised, was the autonomy agenda in light of the fact that a pathway is set for autonomy for New Ireland.
Mr. Atiyafa also expressed gratitude to the Electoral Commissioner and Registrar of Political Parties who made the trip and were also able to answer queries related to their areas that were raised in the inquiry.
The team will be traveling to Namatani District tomorrow and conclude the program on Wednesday, with a public inquiry with special interest and focus groups such as representatives of women, churches, and youth groups as well as People Living with Special Needs, in Kavieng.
Simultaneous consultations have commenced in West New Britain Province today and tomorrow.
While consultation for Manus Province is expected to start tomorrow, through to Thursday, marking the conclusion of the New Guinea Islands leg of the consultation.
“I encourage everyone including the leaders from these respective provinces to turn up for the consultations and express your views on the election law and take ownership that you have contributed something to the outcome of the Review and the law,” Mr. Atiyafa said.
The schedule for the next leg of the consultation for the Momase and Southern regions and other provinces including Hela, Southern Highlands, and Enga that were not covered in the Highlands leg of the consultation, will be published in the media and a preliminary report, is expected to be presented to the government at the end of the year.