2812 LLG members free to contest 2017 national elections

Serving Local-level Government members are allowed to contest national elections including the 2017 elections. Section 30 of the Organic Law on Provincial Governments and Local-level Governments gives them the green light to contest or hold other public leadership responsibilities. Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato ​said the Organic Law does not prevent the LLG members from contesting the 2017 national elections.

“Section 30 of the Organic Law makes no provision as to the time limit set for LLG members to resign and contest national elections,” Gamato said.

​He further clarified that section 31 of the Organic Law does not require LLG members to resign before they contest national elections.

“As it is, the Electoral Commission has no powers to reject the nomination by a LLG member by disqualifying their nomination.”

“In the circumstance, the Department of Provincial & Local-level Governments responsible for Local-level Governments must consider this issue for future elections.”

On the same issue, Mr. Gamato said LLG Presidents should resigned prior to the issue of writs for the 2017 national elections on April 20, 2017, although they are not obliged under law to do.

“This is because the chances of LLG Presidents using LLG funds or property for campaigning are there,” he said.

Section 5 of the Organic Law on Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership (OLDRL) prohibits a leader from using his/her office for personal benefits.

Application of public funds for purposes of soliciting votes is a matter of personal interest and will attract charges under the Organic Law.

For instance, if a President of a LLG uses his/her official vehicle given under the LLG for purposes of campaigning for the national elections is a matter of personal interest and will amount to misconduct in office.

“Therefore, LLG Presidents should give notice prior to contesting the 2017 national elections to avoid any act that may lead to breaches of OLDRL,” Gamato said.

Section 27 of the Constitution also states that a leader shall not use his/her office for personal gain or enter into any transaction or engage in any enterprise or activity that might be expected to give rise to doubt in the public mind as to whether he/she is carrying out or has carried out the duty imposed by law on him/her.

“The Electoral Commission has no powers to reject a nomination form of a LLG member on the basis that the candidate is a serving LLG member.”

“It is, therefore, the duty of the leader to ensure that his/her conduct does not offend the requirements of the Leadership Code.”

Media Consultant

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