The National, Wednesday July 17th, 2013
By GABRIEL FITO
MORE than 10 candidates contesting the Wewak town mayor’s seat have petitioned the Electoral Commission to sideline the Wewak Urban assistant returning officer.
The candidates’ spokesman and former town mayor Anton Namuesh said the officer was an employee of the Wewak Town Commission serving under the incumbent mayor who was a candidate.
Namuesh said they wanted him removed so that there was a free and fair election for Wewak town.
A two-page petition to that effect was presented to provincial returning officer Lukas Engime yesterday morning.
“The election is a national exercise and we have no immediate plans to sabotage polling,” Namuesh said.
“All we are asking from you is to remove this officer from conducting the Wewak Urban LLG election because there may be a conflict of interest given the fact that he is serving under the current mayor.
“We are questioning why elections in the 16 wards of Wewak Urban LLG will be conducted in two weeks while the same LLG had one day polling in the recent general election last year.”
He said one-day polling was the best option for Wewak Urban LLG because it would cut incidences of bribery, double voting and ease the financial burden on candidates.