Ballot boxes blocked from leaving Kundiawa


Electoral Commission staff and police yesterday made another unsuccessful attempt to remove Chimbu Regional seat ballot boxes to Goroka for a judicial recount.
It was the third unsuccessful attempt after earlier attempts in December and last month failed.
People blocked commission staff and police from transporting the ballot boxes out.
Police acting deputy commander for Eastern End, Tim Korada, told The National from Kundiawa yesterday that people claiming to be supporters and tribesmen of Governor Micheal Dua stopped them from transporting the ballot boxes out.
Korada said that the people demanded that deputy electoral commissioner Simon Sinai, his returning officer, lawyer, and police conduct the judicial recount in Kundiawa.
He said Sinai, his lawyer and the newly-appointed returning officer tried to explain to the people without success.
Korada said that people were adamant the recount be done in Kundiawa.
He said that he went to Chimbu with two mobile squads from Mt Hagen, MS5 and MS7.
Korada said he could have used force to remove the ballot boxes but he didn’t want to provoke any problem.
He said that there were no leaders from Chimbu present to address their people.
Korada said the situation in Kundiawa town was under control but still tense.
He said that if there was a need to use force to transport the ballot boxes out, they would do it, but depending on the situation on the ground.
Korada said they were still talking with the people to allow them to transport the ballot boxes out without any resistance.