Manus police warn scrutineers, supporters


Manus police commander David Yapu called on the scrutineers, supporters and candidates to abide by the instructions from the Electoral Commission to allow the counting process to continue.
Yapu said that he would not entertain any nonsense from candidates, scrutineers and supporters.
A signed petition alleging discrepancies during polling and counting called for the immediate suspension of counting and extensions in Manus.
It was presented to the chairman of the provincial election steering committee Andrew Posing on Tuesday.
Posong, after consulting with the electoral commissioner, responded to the petition that the process of counting was to continue.
“Whatever grievances or issues that they have should be brought to the Court of Dispute Returns.”
Counting in Manus was disrupted by numerous disagreements by scrutineers, says election manager Sponsa Navi.
He said since counting began on Sunday, there were many complaints from scrutineers at the  Sahat Hall in Lorengau town which slowed down the progress.
Navi said a petition containing concerns from scrutineers wanting the actual number of ballot
papers issued and used was given to electoral officials on Tuesday.
He said the information was given to scrutineers on duty but the same information was not relayed to their fellow scrutineers.
He said the issues were minor and scrutineers could assist in the counting process by sharing information.
Navi suspended counting on Tuesday at 4pm to attend to the petition and was advised by the PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato not to entertain it.
“The scrutineers walked out of the counting centre but I was advised to proceed without them,” Navi said.
He confirmed  counting resumed with box 11 yesterday at 10.15am.
He said there were a total of 21 counts for Manus open and 21 for Manus regional.
PNG Defence Force Commander Brig-Gen Gilbert Toropo was in the province early this weekend visited the counting centre to observe his PNGDF personnel engaged in the joint security force operations.

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