By TONY PALME
THE people of Anglimp-South Waghi yesterday closed the Jiwaka electoral commission office at Banz and petitioned electoral commissioner Patilias Gamato to reinstate gazetted election officials.
They gave 48 hours to the electoral commissioner to reinstate Joseph Magro as returning officer for the Anglimp South Waghi electorate and Henry Onum as assistant returning officer for Anglimp rural.
Just two days before the issuing of writs, the people joined by disgruntled intending candidates protested the late changes.
They want to see a free, fair and safe election in the area.
Protester, good governance and leadership advocate and president of Jiwaka Youth Isaach Wan said people were not happy with the new appointments.
“It is a clear sign of systematic corruption,” Wan said.
“The electoral commissioner has been repeatedly calling for a free, fair and safe election but what happened here in South Waghi is a
clear abuse of the election processes.”
Wan said instead of two experienced men, two inexperienced officials from Hagen Central were selected as replacements.
“This creates suspicions in the minds of the Anglimp-South Waghi and Jiwaka people. Jiwaka people must run their own elections,” he said.
“We don’t need outsiders to come in. Failure to address this issue will result in chaos in election in Anglimp-South Waghi.”
People from Jimi and North Waghi raised similar concerns and supported their South Waghi counterparts.
By TONY PALME