By TONY PALME
CHIEF Ombudsman Michael Dick has challenged counting officials in the Highlands to do their job well to reflect the people’s choice at the polls.
He advised counting officials and scrutineers to handle counting wisely and transparently to find leaders chosen by the people.
Dick visited counting venues in Enga, Western Highlands and Jiwaka last week and urged counting officials to be honest and transparent in handling ballot boxes, ballot papers and when entering figures.
He stressed the importance of upholding the credibility of the election process by ensuring the right things were done.
“We make one decision in five years as required by the constitution.
“Let’s give people what they deserve by conducting a fair and honest counting.
“The Ombudsman Commission has that duty to protect the constitution, therefore, it is our responsibility to help the Electoral Commission carry out this task with transparency and accountability.
“The ballot papers that you’ll be dealing with are the people’s choice,” Dick said.
He cautioned counting officials, returning officers and assistant returning officers against allowing their personal interests to take over their duty.
“As counting officials, your responsibility is towards the Electoral Commission. You are representing the office that has been mandated to conduct elections for the people of this nation to find a leader of their choice,” Dick stated at Banz, where counting for Jiwaka seats started last Friday.
Jiwaka election steering committee chairman Michael Wandil, provincial returning officer Stefan Wusik, returning officers Willie Ropa (Anglimp South Waghi), Andrew Kulangie (North Waghi), and Joseph Mangbil (Jimi), assured Dick that they would count votes transparently to find the right leaders for the province.
By TONY PALME