No budget for this year election’s
PROVINCIAL Assembly elections for Western and Choiseul Provinces are supposed to be by the end of September however, there is no budget for this national provincial event.
It is understood that the budget is supposed to come under the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) but according to the Choiseul Province Premier Hon Jackson Kiloe in checking this year’s budget, no budget is allocated at all.
The Western and Choiseul Province Premiers Hon Wayne Maepioh and Hon Jackson Kiloe including the former Premier for Choiseul Clement Kengava would like to know now as to why there is no such budget by the National Government and the Ministry.
“It was not even included in the supplementary appropriation bill tabled and passed in the recent parliament sitting,” said Hon Kiloe.
“The national government may include election budgets in their next supplementary budget but considering that elections will proceed by a voter’s registration which requires at least 6 months or so to complete, it would be unrealistic to hold elections now as they legally fall due this year,” he said.
“How on earth the National Government does not budget for this national legal requirement is anybody’s guess.
The Ministry might have some answers to this question but on my part, I do not want to have an election held without a proper registration of voters taking place.
“We cannot use the previous NGE voters list, a lot of young people would miss out on exercising their constitutional right to vote if that is done,” added the Premier.
The Premier also elaborated saying that he remembered hearing Hon. Mathew Wale asking this very question when the 2017 budget was discussed in the committee stage in Parliament.
“The National Government through the Ministry of Provincial Government is responsible for all Provincial Elections and not individual provinces.
The money required for Provincial Elections run into several millions in which the full budget of small provinces do not even reach this amount,” said Hon Kiloe.
Hon Wayne Maepioh when speaking to Island Sun Gizo yesterday confirmed that he and the Choiseul Province Premier are in line with the same understanding that there is no budget allocated for this year’s Provincial Elections.
“What I understand is the National Government through our Provincial Government have really not allocated any budget for the election this year,” said Hon Maepioh.
“I think it is the Ministry of Provincial Government who will be appropriate to answer our questions for this issue.
Why it has not allocated budgets, when they will do it and how? Is the question,” he said.
The Premier elaborated that there was a bid earlier for the elections but the Budget Unit in the Ministry of MPGIS ruled it out in which he does not even know their reason for taking out the bid.
“Maybe they have a revised budget yet but I do not know as this issue now depends on the National Government and the Ministry for when our elections will take place as our Provincial Government will only humbly wait,” said Hon Maepioh.
Contacting for response from the Communications Officer of MPGIS yesterday was not successful being said to be still at Temotu Province attending the 2nd Appointed Day celebration there.
However, according to sources within MPGIS over this concern, they elaborated in assuring that the Ministry is working on this issue with the Ministry of Finance and will confirm elections for these provinces yet.
“The Ministry will confirm PE’s for both these two provinces when there is fund allocated,” said sources within the Ministry.