By MALUM NALU
LAE MP Loujaya Kouza refused to cast her vote yesterday as she was listed on the common roll as “Loujaya Toni”, after her former husband.
She told The National it was not “a big deal” and that she would still win.
Journalists looking to get a photograph of the incumbent voting were told that she would not be doing so in protest against the “error”.
She said: “I am not voting because my name was changed to Kouza, it is not Toni, so why should I go and vote under an alien’s name?
“Who is Loujaya Toni?
“My name was not updated in the 2017 roll, so I’m in limbo now.”
Kouza said she was not letting the people of Lae down by not voting.
She said there were other people who were not in the 2017 roll and they were also being denied.
“I’m not going to front up there (polling station) and be made a fool of because I’m not on the common roll.
“I can go and cast my vote but I would be doing it as Loujaya Toni, which is not right.”
She said she had voted in 2012 and had registered to contest in this general election as Loujaya Kouza so it was not her fault.
She added that she made the name change in 2013.
Kouza also complained about a shortage of ballot papers.
“It’s a sad case scenario when our people are ready to vote, to exercise their right to vote, but a lot of short-changing is happening,” she said.
“Deliberately, ballot papers are short.
“That’s the main problem here in Lae.”
She claimed that her scrutineers had sighted cash being handed out at Omili and that she had photographs to prove this.
On her chances, Kouza said she had done the “hard yards” over the last five years.
“There are people in the three wards in Lae who are testimony to that and you’ll see that in the ballot boxes,” she said.
“I will be redeemed during the counting process.”
By MALUM NALU