Baki wants recount in Kundiawa


By Rebecca Kuku and Luke Kama
Police Commissioner Gari Baki has called for recounting of Chimbu Regional to be done in Kundiawa instead of Lae.
He said it would be a “high risk” to have the boxes transported to Lae.
“Based on our past elections and the recent one in 2017, I believe it will be better for the counting to be done in Kundiawa,” Baki said.
“I don’t want to put the lives of my police officers at risk.”
“The recount is for the people and must be done where the people are.”
Baki said ballot boxes could be hijacked along the highway and would put the lives of police men and women at risk.
Baki said he would be getting in touch with Electoral Commissioner Patilas Gamato to discuss the issue.
“I will have my lawyers work with Electoral Commissioners’ lawyers to appeal the decision and bring counting back to Kundiawa,” he said. Electoral Commission officers have already tried twice, without success, to take the ballot boxes to Lae.
The first attempt was made last month and the second attempt was made on Jan 3.
Meanwhile, Chimbu is still in the dark on when the recount for provincial seat will proceed as per a National Court decision on Nov 27 last year.
The court has also ordered the Electoral Commission to present results of the recount to court by Feb 7, 2019, which is just about two weeks away.
The provincial election team, police and provincial administration have yet to receive any formal advice from Electoral Commission in Port Moresby on any arrangements concerning the recount.
Chimbu provincial election manager Rev Tom Sine told The National yesterday that Gamato had already made a decision for the recount to proceed in Lae.