Gamato clarifies Moresby declaration

National

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says he will decide on what action to take against a returning officer who allegedly conducted an illegal declaration in Port Moresby last week.
Moresby North-West returning officer Moka Havara  reported sick on declaration day on Thursday for MP-elect Sir Mekere Morauta which resulted in the ceremony being delayed.
Havara, however,  resurfaced at a Port Moresby hotel where he allegedly declared Joseph Tonde as winner of Moresby North-West.
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said that he was forced to appoint NCD assistant election manager Bale Kavanamur as acting Moresby North-West returning officer after Havara failed to show up.
“That was an unfortunate incident,” Gamato said.
“What happened was that the returning officer was not available, we were looking for him.
“I appointed the assistant election manager for NCD Bale Kavanamur as an acting returning officer to complete the counts.
“So he completed the elimination counts and declared Sir Mekere Morauta as the member-elect. I recognised that and accepted the writ.
“That other declaration is illegal.
“I wanted to take action, those are unfortunate situations and I don’t allow that so what I will do is I will finish the election business and after that if I want to I will refer him to police for investigation.”

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