Disputed SHP ballot boxes excluded from preliminary count

National

By JAMES GUMUNO
THE disputed ballot boxes for the Southern Highlands provincial seat will not be counted, says election manager David Wakias.
He said the court had ordered for counting in Hagen to proceed without the disputed ballot boxes two weeks ago as the matter was still pending in court. Wakias said the counting would proceed and after the declaration, any candidate not happy with the result should file a case in the court of disputed returns.
The case on the disputed ballot boxes is expected to be heard in the National Court on Sept 21.
Sitting governor William Powi,had petitioned the court for the disputed boxes to be counted.
Wakias said the counting of the primary votes and quality checks was done last week in Mt Hagen.
They are now waiting for provincial returning officer Steven Gore Kaupa, who is in Port Moresby, to start the elimination process.
Wakias said the delay was causing problems for them in Mt Hagen.
β€œAll of us β€” electoral officials, counting officials, security personnel, candidates, their scrutineers and supporters β€” are facing difficulties in meeting the cost of accommodation, meals, and other expenses in here,” he said.
He said the three-week counting delay was a big burden to them.

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