By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Mt Hagen
The Electoral Commissioner was convicted for not following court orders from the Supreme Court Reference 3 of 2013 to conduct by-elections for the 22 failed Local Level Governments in the six Highlands Provinces. Mr Gamato filed a Supreme Court reference two weeks ago for the higher court to interpret the National Court’s conviction and the Electoral Commission’s decision not to conduct the by-election when of such by-elections are prohibited by section 106 (a) of the Constitution.
However, Kuire LLG President from Kagua-Erave Electorate, Ivan Waba, says Gamato should respect and vacate the constitutional office to set precedent since he was already convicted. The LLG presidents feared that Gamato has caused a constitutional crisis by being convicted and at the same time occupying the office.
Another LLG President from Lower Mendi, Peter Kundi, feared the LLG President election will likely be declared ‘failed’ again by Court since Gamato was already convicted of contempt of court.
The special Supreme Court reference 3 of 2013 was filed by the Western Highlands Provincial Executive Council of EC’s decision to fail the 22 LLG’s in the six Highlands Provinces, of widespread election-related violence and vote rigging. The six provinces are Southern Highlands, Enga, Hela, Western Highlands, Jiwaka and Chimbu. They are also calling on the Electoral Commission to appoint an election manager to conduct the LLG elections in Southern Highland Province.
The Jiwaka Provincial Government is working tirelessly to make funds available for the PHA to function effectively. They are also in dialogue for the National Health Department to fast track the Jiwaka Transit Medical Store, and for partners to assist with an ambulance.