Confusion over Kandep

National, Normal


THE re-poll ordered by the Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen for three polling areas in Kandep did not take place because no one wanted to go into the area again.
It was also reported that the helicopter company engaged to fly materials, polling officials and police to the sites refused to risk its aircraft and employees.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen and Police Commissioner Gari Baki issued an order for re-polling at Muyan, Tarapis and Savi (2) to be re-polled last Friday, the final day for the polling schedule.
The officially approved scheduled polling days for the by-election by Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane expired last Friday.
When police and assistant returning officers, including election managers, arrived at the Kagamuga Airport to be flown to Kandep for the re-poll, they were bluntly told by the helicopter company that they would not fly at great risk to the pilots and choppers.
In Port Moresby, Mr Trawen was not available for comments.
It is unclear if this means counting of votes will begin immediately.
But sources said polling and counting officials indicated yesterday that counting was likely to be boycotted pending payment of allowanced.
Hela, Madang and Morobe polling officials yesterday told The National that they would not perform any electoral duty particularly counting until the outstanding allowances were paid.
“We want a one-off pay out of all outstanding allowances in travelling allowance for remaining 10 days with four proposed days, risk allowances as per calculated under Komo-Margarima rate and any associated allowances before we will be engaged for the counting.”
They feared as public servants, the 21 days approved leave from provinces to perform electoral duties as required has lapsed last Friday, enquiring to know whether Mr Trawen has actually obtained approval from respective provinces for their extended engagement.
Mr Trawen affirmed to seeking permission to extend their engagement last week.
To date, there were no instructions as required to continue the engagement of their services.