The National, Thursday July 19th, 2012
A POLICE boycott because of non-payment of allowances forced counting in Gulf province to be suspended yesterday.
Gulf provincial election steering committee vice-chairman Emmanuel Xavier confirmed the suspension after community police refused to be part of the operation.
Xavier said counting was expected to resume today after they provided vouchers for the lawmen.
“We have raised vouchers for police today and provincial police commander Chief Insp Henni Vagi left yesterday for Port Moresby to sort out allowances for the police officers,” Xavier said.
“We expect counting to resume tomorrow. We have tallies for Kikori count 10 but have not posted the results because of police boycotting. As soon as counting takes place tomorrow we should have them posted and then proceed with the other counts in both Kerema and Kikori open and the regional seat.”
Meanwhile, from last count in the regional seat which covers count 12 for Kerema open and count nine for Kikori open, People’s National Congress Party candidate and incumbent Governor Havila Kavo maintains a lead of 6,210 votes followed by People’s Party candidate Paul Kolako Harry on 2,261.
Former Gulf governor and Pangu Pati candidate Chris Haiveta remains on third spot with 1,720 followed by independent candidate Lesley Mark on 1,335.
In fifth spot is former governor and independent candidate Riddler Kimave with 1,149 votes.
For the Kikori open, after count nine, former museum director Soroi Eoe is leading with 2,465 followed by independent candidate Ezra Albert Kerut on 1,562 while independent candidate Solomon Hakava remains in third spot with 732 votes.
In fourth spot is independent candidate Josiah Novullu with 634 votes followed T.H.E. Party candidate and incumbent MP Mark Maipakai on 630 votes.
For the Kerema open, independent candidate and businessman George Mero is leading with 2,735 votes followed by another independent Vika Mauka Kenneth on 1,021 votes.
Independent candidates Eddie Morakoko, Ivan Hula, and Ken Haroho Pala maintain third, fourth and fifth places with 995, 951 and 690 respectively.