Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hela, Jiwaka get nod


HELA and Jiwaka will be our newest provinces following yesterday’s parliament acceptance of the Boundaries Commission report, The National reports.
They take the number of provinces to 21 and the National Capital District and it also meant an additional two seats in parliament.
The new provinces will elect their own governors in the gene­ral election next year.
Parliament unanimously voted 73-0 to accept the declaration of Hela and Jiwaka as new provinces after Jimi MP Wake Goi, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Constitutional Matters, tabled the commission’s report and recommendations in parliament.
Last year, parliament proposed the Hela and Jiwaka provinces by varying the boundaries of Southern Highlands and Western Highlands respectively.
Goi said the people of Hela and Jiwaka were expected to elect their own provincial and open electorate representatives in the 2012 election.
“The people of Hela and Jiwaka have openly expressed views in favour of them going into the 2012 general election as separate provinces from Southern Highlands and Western Highlands,” he said.
Goi said the current boundaries would remain within the limits as determined by law in 1977 until 2013 when a nationwide review would be carried out.
Hela will comprise Tari-Pori, Koroba-Lake Kopiago and Komo-Margarima.
Jiwaka will have North Waghi, Anglimp-South Waghi and Jimi.
Goi said there was a desire by some electorates and provinces to change their current electoral boundaries based on ethnic, cultural and traditional affiliations.
“In general, many communities sharing common provincial and/or open electorate boundaries continue to be critical of their apparent lack of recognition both by provinces and electorates they legally are in and those they claim to be getting services from,” he said.
“These issues, however, will be addressed in 2012 when the boundaries commission conducts a nation-wide review to redistribute all electorates in PNG and report to parliament on its recommendations.”
Tari-Pori MP James Marape thanked everyone on behalf of the 300,000 people of Hela for making his people’s dream come true.
Marape singled out Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and the former government and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his government for making the Hela dream come true.
“As chairman of Hela Transitional Authority, the Hela MPs and the 300,000 people say thank you to everyone who gave the necessary support to pass the final hurdle,” Marape said.

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