Malaita provincial elections delayed
He says its was not possible to hold the elections yesterday because among other things the old ballot boxes arrived late in provincial capital, Auki. Mr Leka says the boxes arrived in Auki at 10 o'clock last Friday night. He says his office had to employ some workers to prepare the boxes including repainting them. Mr Leka says his office is now waiting for additional funds from the Ministry of Provincial Government to run the elections for the remaining wards on Malaita.
He says if no additional funds is available by yesterday, the elections are unlikely to be held this month. Mr Leka says there is a possibility the elections will be held early January 2007. The Minister of Provincial Government would endorse a new date for the elections.
The delay in holding the elections yesterday may reflect some serious underlying flaws in the system. Workers of previous national elections have raised numerous claims about not receiving outstanding allowances for work they have done. If this is true, the relevant authorities must investigate and take appropriate action to rectify the situation.
Malaitans certainly need a new government to take them forward. The sooner there is an election the better it is for the future of the province.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Provincial Government Japhet Waipora seemed furious when asked about whether he was aware of no Provincial Assembly elections on Malaita yesterday. Mr Waipora says he is the only person who has authority to grant a delay of elections. He says his officers would check whether it is true that there are no elections on Malaita yesterday.
Last week, Mr Leka had indicated that one of the reasons the elections for Wards 1 to five were deferred from Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 was because of financial problems.