Disputed boxes await scrutiny

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 18th, 2012

SIX disputed ballot boxes for ward six in 6-Mile, Port Moresby, will not be admitted or rejected until a further scrutiny is done, Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen says.
Trawen said yesterday after a number of candidates contesting the Moresby Northeast seat and their supporters alleged the boxes were inflated and should not be counted.
The boxes were from the stronghold of PNG Party candidate John Kaupa, who is currently trailing sitting MP
Andrew Mald. Trawen said the fate of the boxes would be decided once legal advice was sought on their admissibility.“The Electoral Commission’s lawyer is still interviewing the team,” he said.
“These boxes are set aside and the returning officer will decide whether to admit for counting.”
Trawen said the commission’s lawyer, Shirley Tadape, was taking carriage of the matter.
“The national election is governed by the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections.
“And it is my duty to seek legal advice whenever necessary,” Trawen said.He said such measures promoted and strengthened the electoral process.Trawen appealed to candidates, supporters and scrutineers to remain calm and allow due procedures and processes to take effect.He said the general election was everybody’s business and, in order to achieve good results, due care must be given to the rules and laws governing elections.