TWENTY additional constituencies have been earmarked and are in the pipe-line but the absence of an officially appointed Boundary Committee to work on the plan has delayed progress on the project.
Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Home Affairs Mr George Selwyn Palua said Government has already accessed the proposal for 20 additional constituencies to the existing 50 but progress on the task can only go forward with the appointment of a Boundary Committee to work on it.
But he explained this proposed number of constituencies can be varied depending on final analysis based on merits by the Boundary Committee.
Mr Palua revealed this to Solomon Star when he was asked to respond to calls by members of the public who want to know what the government is doing about their calls for separate new constituencies.
Solomon Star had received complaints from disgruntled citizens arguing they should be given additional new constituencies separate from their current constituencies.
They claim the vastness of some of the current constituencies’ boundaries makes it more difficult to effectively deliver services adequately proportionately to satisfy vast populations.
Thus it is more appropriate to create additional constituencies in order to provide equitable service delivery to the respective constituents.
Mr Palua explained that establishing additional constituencies is one of the aims of the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) government as spelt out clearly in its policy statement.
He said implementation of the plan is among the DCC government priority tasks during its tenure of office.
He said the Boundary Commission would be the rightful authority to work on the proposed additional constituencies, but so far the government has yet to appoint members of the Boundaries Committee to spearhead the task.
Mr Palua said an amendment to the National Constitution to increase the number of constituencies has already been made paving way for the increase.
Mr Palua said under legislation, review of the constituencies’ boundaries should be made every 10 years and more so 2016 is the appropriate time frame to embark on the plan for additional constituencies to the current 50 constituencies.
By AATAI JOHN