Early this year, the national government made the decision and asked the Electoral Commission to administer the 2019 LLG elections in partnership with provincial administrations to pool resources, save money and promote provincial ownership of the process.
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says though it is an exciting potential partnership, the dilemma is that the Commission has yet to conclude agreements with all the 20 different provincial administrations.
“PNGEC has engaged in conversations with provincial administrations since 2018 and has concluded memoranda of understanding (MoU) with only nine provinces while time is fast running out,” Gamato said.
“This model ensures increased complexity of implementation as many of the personnel and materials needed to run the LLG elections do not fall under PNGEC’s control.”
Gamato added that PNGEC's budget for 2017 national election was K279 million, whereas for the LLG elections, the total budget line of K100 million is being split between the Commission and provincial administrations.
“Therefore, PNGEC is going to be dependent on the goodwill and performance of the provincial and LLG administrations to provide the base logistical support staff support for the elections.”
He pointed out that PNGEC has to be very clear on the need for extensive collaboration to get these elections done.
“I am calling on each of the 20 provincial administrations to sit down with us and work out how to resource these elections so that we can ensure credible, inclusive and safe LLG elections for our people.
“I am further calling on the national government to provide adequate resources to PNGEC in a timely fashion for us to be able to play our role in these important LLG elections.”