Candidate threatens to shut down logging operations

National, Normal

The National, Friday July 6th, 2012

in Vanimo

A CANDIDATE contesting the Vanimo-Green River open seat plans to shut down two major logging operations in the electorate because his name was not on the electoral roll.
Jacob Warike said it was unfortunate that he and 1,500 others who live in logging camps identified as the Maka base camp for Amanab Blocks 1 to 4 forest management area and Amanab 56 did not vote.
“Four communities of Kilifas, Fugumui, Amanab 56 base camp and Maka were supposed to cast their votes at Kilifas on Sunday,” he said.
“The population of the two base camps did not have their names on the electoral roll, only Kilifas and Fugumui.
“We went in and questioned the polling officials and they said they were following the 2010 ward electoral roll update but Maka base camp and Amanab 56 was established in 2011,” he said.
Warike said the situation deprived him his democratic right to vote.
He could not meet the assistant returning officer for the concerned Walsa local level government to express his dissatisfaction.
“When census people went there, they said we are preparing this for the 2012 elections.”
Warike said he enrolled after census officials did their household survey.
“And I am a candidate who is supposed to vote but did not.
“The last option is that Amanab 56 will be shutdown,” Warike said.
He said his lawyer was working to get a restraining order because the operation was illegal.
Warike said the restraining order was not because of him and others not voting.
Election manager Martin Anskar had earlier clarified that the commission could do little if anyone’s name was not on the ward electoral roll.