By GYNNIE KERO
Enga police commander George Kakas says the Kandep seat recount is progressing smoothly.
Kakas all the primary votes were counted in the 72 ballot boxes since Wednesday.
“As of count 72, Don Polye was leading on 22,645, followed by the petitioner Alfred Manase on 12,333 votes,” Kakas told The National.
“The total number of ballot papers counted is 51,439 minus 271 informal.
“The absolute majority at this stage is 25,585 which has not been reached yet.
“Thus, on Wednesday at 10am, we have gone into the elimination process.
“A result may be available soon, which would be taken to court.”
Kakas said the deadline (voting and counting to be completed in 30 days) imposed by the Supreme Court lapsed on Wednesday and the Electoral Commission lawyer has rushed to court to seek an extension.
“Although, security has been an issue as Kandep has been a very volatile electorate with over a hundred deaths in the 2012 elections, we have managed well with the 35-man mobile squad from Mt Hagen and 60 men local force,” he said.
“I have done a lot of public relations and continuously talking to both factions on a daily basis, especially appealing to the two leaders to control and restrain their supporters and respect the rule of law. This has paid off and we have experienced peace and good order so far.”
Meanwhile, Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas thanked Kakas for maintaining calmness in the province.
“I commend police (PPC George Kakas) despite inadequate manpower, he has been able to maintain a level of calmness in the province,” Sir Peter said.
By GYNNIE KERO