Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Abel: Progress made on Hela and Jiwaka

MINISTER for State Assisting the Prime Minister on Constitutional Matters Charles Abel says the Electoral Boundaries Commission review of the proposed provinces of Hela and Jiwaka is in progress, The National reports.

He said this would enable the people of Hela and Jiwaka to have a political representation after next year's general election.

"The boundaries review to address Hela and Jiwaka is in progress," he said.

"It will specifically review the open electorate boundaries within the provincial boundaries of Hela with Southern Highland and Jiwaka with Western Highlands," Abel said.

He said the Electoral Boundaries Commission would meet next Tuesday.

"Following the meeting, the commission will formulate a proposal for review and, on July 25, the proposal and maps of the two provinces will be put on public notices in the media.

"The public will have two weeks to assess the electoral boundaries' proposals and, on Aug 8, the commission will conduct a public inquiry into the new provinces," Abel said.

He said a second meeting would be held at the end of August to review the proposals.

In the first week of September, the boundaries commission would go back to Hela and Jiwaka to conduct a public inquiry.

He said on Sept 19, a third meeting to review the proposals would be held.

Electoral Boundaries Commissioner Andrew Trawen was in Kokopo yesterday and could not be reached for comments.

Any changes to electoral boundaries will require an absolute majority of parliament with two consecutive meetings held two months apart.

Abel said at the end of September, the commission would prepare the first electoral boundaries report for presentation in parliament.

He said a national boundaries review for all provinces would be conducted after the elections.

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