Counting for SHP regional seat resumes after confusion

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COUNTING for the Southern Highlands regional seat resumed yesterday after being suspended since Wednesday.
Provincial election manager David Wakias, pictured, said this after rumours of an alleged declaration of incumbent Governor William Powi went viral on social media.
He said counting was suspended after candidates alleged that two disputed boxes were brought with other boxes to the counting venue, and they wanted returning officer Jacob Kurap to be sidelined.
Wakias said counting resumed yesterday, adding the Facebook post was incorrect.
“The post has brought confusion among everyone at the counting centre and the people,” he said.
“I have directed the counting to resume.
“Nathan Buka, Charles Sipa and Johnson Levi are each heading the three counting centres.”
Wakias said the three men would be supported by the counting officials.
Wakias said there were 135 boxes yet to be counted and he was working closely with the counting officials to complete the remaining boxes.
He said after count 484, William Powi was leading with 95,769 votes followed by Joe Kopol with 64,023 and Jerry Kiwai with 41,956.
“The weather is affecting counting but the counting officials will make sure to complete the process immediately,” Wakias said.
He said there would be no more interruptions.

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