The National, Tuesday 10th July, 2012
SOME candidates and election officials want the counting of ballot boxes for the Nipa-Kutubu open electorate to proceed.
Regional candidate William Powi, open candidates Felix Oltomo, Maxwell Konop and Jeffery Konop stated in a signed statement that the counting should proceed without delay.
They said Trawen should not entertain any individual candidate trying to derail the counting process and deny the rights of the 105,000 people of electing their leaders.
They said boxes brought for counting should be opened without delay. Disputing candidates can pursue their grievances later in the court of disputed returns.
Returning officer for Nipa-Kutubu John Harisol, and his three assistant returning officers, said polling in the respective electorates was conducted peacefully, free and fairly without any irregularities.
They stated that any allegation of irregularities and hijacking of ballot boxes were unfounded and made to derail the elections processes.
They said the electoral commission’s decision to reject the ballot boxes for the three local level governments were contradictory to what the electoral officials on the ground had witnessed when conducting the election.
They said that the presiding officers in the respective wards had submitted their reports that the polling was conducted freely, fairly and that the boxes were not tampered with – except for the Komea and Sesanda polling wards.
Security forces were also present and that there was not any report of irregular practices.
Harisol said he proceed count the ballot boxes unless a court order was produced to stop him.