Confusion over withdrawal

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DRAWING of the candidates’ numbers for the Moresby North West by-election started despite a last minute withdrawal.
Jenol Samo’s withdrawal from the race caused a slight confusion and one of the candidates, Sir Arnold Amet, threatened to take legal action against the Electoral Commission.
Sir Arnold, a former Chief Justice and Madang governor, said to take legal action after returning officer Desmond Timiyaso said that they could not accept Samo’s withdrawal as the withdrawal period had lapsed.
However, Sir Arnold said the Electoral Commission not accepting Samo’s withdrawal could also cause confusion like the mixing up of the candidates’ numbers.
Timiyaso said they would have to proceed with the by-election as instructed by the Covid-19 Controller David Manning.
Another candidate John Endemongo Kua also raised concern, that polling, to be held on a Wednesday, would deprive workers, in both the private and Government sectors, the opportunity to vote.
Timiyaso clarified that they could make arrangements with the Trade Union to push for a public holiday on June 2nd only for Moresby North West electorate so that every eligible voter in that electorate whose names were on the common roll including workers could vote.
“We can also advise the Pandemic Controller David Mannning and set a date on a weekend to allow for everyone to vote,” he said.
“Afterall, it is a two-week long polling schedule (May 29-June 12).”
The drawing of the candidates’ number started after Timiyaso’s clarification.
It also started the campaign for the by-election. Samo had withdrawn because of the Covid-19 restrictions on the campaign and he had exhausted all of his resources.