Optimising Definition of Political Electorates and Administrative Districts in PNG Electoral Boundaries Commission Possibilities to 2017
This Presentation describes • dual definition of provinces and provincial electorates; • dual definition of administrative districts and open electorates; and • benefits of review of administrative districts and provinces in order to provide a better geographical basis for delivery of government services.
This Presentation does not consider Impact of multiple roles of Open MPs at national, provincial and district levels on performance: • In Parliament, ministries and NEC; or • At provincial, district and local levels. Sir Paul Songo?
LEGISLATION Constitution 5(2) An Organic Law may provide for, or make provision in respect of, the creation of new provinces by the amalgamation or division of existing provinces or for the variation of the boundaries of a province Organic Law on Provincial Boundaries (OLPB) Constitution 125 (6) An Organic Law … may confer or impose on the Boundaries Commission powers, functions, duties or responsibilities in relation to the boundaries of … provincial electorates. Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Electorates (OLNLLGE) 35 (1)The number of open electorates shall be as determined by the Boundaries Commission ….. Organic Law on Provincial and Local-level Governments (OLPGLLG) 72(4) “boundaries of the district … shall be the same as the Open Electorate of the Parliament”
and Parliament is strengthening the tie between districts and open electorates by enacting: • Amendments to Organic Law on Provincial and Local-level Governments (OLPLG) to create District Development Authorities; • Appointment to Certain Offices Act which gives Open MPs authority to appoint District Administrators (DAs); and • Foreshadowed putting district government employees under DAs.
Consequences, Administrative services tied more closely to Districts larger implications if Open Electorate boundaries change. Changes in Open Electorates means new Districts new headquarters, new staff, new offices, new staff housing.
Who? An Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) appointed every 10 years. EBC recommends to Parliament on provincial and open electorates. Andrew Trawenchairs EBC.
Pm & trawen at parliament21 May 2013 PM said ‘EBC reports must be done early so they can be tabled in parliament for implementation before next General Election.’ Trawensaid ‘boundaries review will be in late 2013 and early 2014’.
BACKGROUND • Previous EBC Reports came near the end of the term of Parliament. • When recommendations come near elections, MPs think about re-election. They block changes in electorate boundaries. • Early EBC reports improve chances of MPs approving changes.
EBC TO REVIEW ELECTORATES22/01/2014 EBC will review all electorates in 2014.Trawen said: • 89 Open Electorates approved in February 1977 have not changed despite reviews in 1981, 1985-6, 1991 and 2005. • population increase since 1970 raises concerns on service delivery and political representation. • more Open and Provincial Electorates are needed which EBC will recommend to Parliament.
Implementation requires: • review of provinces and provincial electorates and a timetable for amending the OLPB. • Possible increase in the number of open electorates by amending the OLNLLGE.
Electoral Commission Staff Challenged 25 February 2014 Chairman Andrew Trawen said EBC will take on board requests to split some electorates into two, starting in April this year.
Who amends the OLPB? • Parliament • EBC under OLNLLGE recommends on provincial electorate boundaries – not provincial boundaries • But provincial boundaries are provincial electorate boundaries Can EBC recommend on provincial boundaries?
Do we need to review provinces? Recommendations on provinces may include new provinces or variation of provincial boundaries. Questions to be asked: Do present districts or sub-districts best meet administrative needs? Do present provincial boundaries meet administrative needs?
Western Sepik and Western Provinces What did the German Emperor and British Queen know in 1884 about: • Geography of PNG? • Cultures of the Star Mountains? Is the boundary they set between West Sepik and Western Provinces best for 2017 and onwards?
Using the 2011 Census Moved to Jiwaka 2012. Population doubled in 10 years???!!! Anglimp – Melpa – Hagen identity South Wahgi – Wahgi – Jiwaka Move the WHP/Jiwaka boundary? Administrative costs and benefits?
District (and Provincial Boundaries) Simbai LLG Area – Middle Ramu District – Madang Province 3 days walk from the rest of the District (access road collapsed 30 years ago), cultural links with Jimi and towards Hagen, power system collapsed 20 years ago. Shift provincial and district boundaries?
Nomad and …. Nomad is in the North of Mid Fly District. Its transport ns links are with Kiungadistrict centreNorth. Not Middle Fly of the rest of LLG Area. Shift electorate / district boundaries?
its concerns “But again Mr Danaya interrupted the Minister and this time Mr Duma said to determine where Juha was located, a social mapping needed to be conducted. “Now we will not say Juha is in the Western or Southern Highlands Province but it will only be determined after a social mapping and the governor must be patient,” Mr Duma said.” (P Courier 20/12/2009) ABC 10/14/2012 · Dina Gabo: When I found that the SABL title covers all of Nomad LLG area, using the provincial boundary between Southern Highlands, I said, ‘No, ...
Legislation before EBC Starts Major Report? (1) • If number of provinces / provincial electorates are to vary amend OLPB. • Open electorates / districts must fit inside provincial / provincial electorate boundaries. • Who and when will conduct the study and prepare legislation?
OLPB Legislation before EBC starts report on electorates? (2) Time Line? Consultations – 3 months? Parliamentary notice? - 1 month minimum Parliamentary enactment = 2 months minimum? • EBC has no mandate to review provinces. • Will new (provinces/provincial electorates} be a single package with new open electorates?
Formula for Each Electorate: OLNLLGE 36. SIZE OF OPEN ELECTORATES. (1) For the purposes of a proposed redistribution of the country into open electorates, the Boundaries Commission shall determine a population quota by the following formula:– Q = P/N where– “Q” is the population quota for the electorate; and “P” is the total population of the country; and “N” is the provisional number of open electorates as determined by the Boundaries Commission within the limits specified in Section 35. 7,059,653/91 = 77,579
How would review change Open Electorates / Districts?
Using the 2011 Census (1) Perhaps 8 open electorates would merge. Perhaps 8 open electorates would increase borders. Open Electorates below Population Quota
Using the 2011 Census (2) Perhaps 17 open electorates would receive increased representation or more manageable administration.
Using the 2011 Census (4) The smallest and the largest open electorate/district:
Using the 2011 Census (5) Possible changes:
Begin work early (1) EC – has huge work in facilitating enrollment, preparing electoral rolls, appointing returning officers, preparing polling places. DPLGA – must prepare new district administrations to fit new districts / open electorates. MPs and potential candidates – must know the electorate they may stand for.
Begin work early (2) EBC Schedule • Initial investigation • Public notice of intention to redraw boundaries • Circulate map • Fix a date at least 2 months later for public inquiry, for MPs, National, Provincial and Local-level Government Officers, cultural and land groups • Reports to Minister • Minister submits to Parliament • Parliament considers for 2 (or 4) months and responds to EBC • EBC responds within 40 days and submits to Minister • Minister submits to Parliament within 7 days • Parliament accepts or rejects within 40 days
Recommendations (1) • National Government recognise that maintenance of present provincial and district boundaries: • reduces citizens’ right to equitable representation in Parliament; • Can reduce delivery of services and opportunities for community development; and • Can weaken community representation on LLGs and district bodies.
Recommendations (2) • EBC recommend on variations of provincial and district boundaries to improve delivery of services and community development. • the National Government recognise that Parliament is more likely to accept changes if EBC commences work early in the term of Parliament.