Dei candidates want six boxes excluded in counts

National, Normal

The National, Monday July 9th, 2012

CANDIDATES who are contesting the Dei open seat, in Western Highlands province, want six of their ballot boxes excluded from counting because of corrupt practices that took place during polling.
The candidates gave a petition to the Electoral Commission at the Highlander Hotel last Friday, saying they did not want those boxes to be counted.
The petition was handed to provincial election manager Philip Telape.
The petition said that boxes 060, 061, 062, 072, 073 and 098 should be put aside.
It said the tampered boxes were from the Muglamp 1, 2, Baglaga Plantation, Mun and the Kelem rest houses.
It said there had been many corrupt practices occurring during polling and that was why they did not want those boxes to be counted.
A spokesman for People’s National Congress candidate Thomas Jim Nori said in the 2007 election, Dei had faced a failed election because of the same problem.
“The victory by Puri Ruing had been challenged in court.
“We will seek legal advice to stop counting because all we want is a free, fair and safe election.”
He said the Electoral Commission must act on the petition.
Candidate James Pini said corruption had taken place at polling venues.
Provincial election manager Philip Telape said he needed advice from the Electoral Commissioner on the matter.
He said he would get reports from polling teams and security personnel before any decision was made on such serious allegations.