The National, Thursday July 19th, 2012
SECURITY forces engaged in the election operations in the Southern Highlands are urging scrutineers and candidates not to unnecessarily stop and delay counting.
Counting is scheduled to end on Monday and security operations commander ACP Jim Andrew yesterday told counting officials and scrutineers time was running out.
“My security plan ends in six days time and we have no time to waste,” he said.
“Unnecessary complaints have forced counting in the province to take three weeks despite being the first to conduct polling and start counting.
“Those who are not happy can take their disputes to the court of disputed returns and not to continue to hinder the progress,” he said.
Meanwhile, the returning officer for Imbonggu Steven Topura has been questioned by police for a media statement he made, alleging election manager David Wakias and Andrews of issuing orders to count several disputed boxes.
He has been restrained from making any media statements.
Nipa-Kutubu electorate returning officer, John Harisol, has also been restrained and restricted from entering the counting centre at the Momei Oval until the declaration.
Leo Vali has declined an appointment to replace Harisol whose post has now gone to Ambopa Ekai.
Eliminations for the Mendi and Imbonggu seats started yesterday.