By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
Chairman of the Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC), Andrew Trawen, said an immediate amendment needs to be done by parliament to increase the number of open and provincial electorates.
This comes after numerous concerns raised by members of parliament in the media to review the existing electoral boundaries.
Mr Trawen said, the land boundaries review was to have commenced in 2013, but no funding has been appropriated.
More concerns were raised over the increase in population, equitable distribution of wealth for delivery of basic goods and services, and fair representation in parliament.
Parliament had rejected recommendations made by previous boundaries’ review commissions, leaving all open electorates to remain the same.
The Electoral Boundaries Commission has already prepared its review program and is waiting for funding of K19.8 million from the government to carry out its work.
Trawen said the boundaries’ review of provincial and open electorates, and LLG and ward councils needs be done prior to the 2017 election. This will allow for a more accurate electoral roll, to ensure there is fair representation in parliament and fair distribution of services.
The boundaries review will re-align the current 2012 national census’ figures to deal with population density, plus the distribution of population in the country.
Trawen said during the 2011 boundaries review tour to the Hela and Jiwaka Provinces, rural communities were openly critical of the government’s existence due to the lack of basic services in their area.
The issue that needs to be addressed is the overlapping of LLG’s into other electorate boundaries, and the splitting up of bigger electorates by population size.
Future reviews need to be conducted by EBC, in conjunction with local and provincial governments.