The Nationa, Monday July 16th, 2012
By ZACHERY PER
REMOTE polling booths in Okapa district were issued fewer ballot papers that triggered candidates expressing their concerns to the Electoral Commission.
The least number of ballots issued were just two for Yagagiti polling venue in East Okapa local level government area near the border of Gulf province.
New Generation Party candidate Igitawa Yoviga and Isaac Waigavara said there were grave concerns about the Electoral Commission not giving every eligible voter the right to vote.
“We were disappointed that ballot papers being issued for polling were not according to the people listed in the preliminary rolls.
“We are concerned with the conduct of the election in Okapa by the Electoral Commission,” Waigavara said.
Yoviga said the Electoral Commission failed to update the common roll properly, as most of the people missed out on the national election.
He said the people were quite happy with the list in the preliminary rolls and were expecting to vote.
He alleged some people within the system could have deliberately listed who and which clans should vote and who should not.
“The Electoral Commission does not understand the structure of the villages and they cannot properly update the roll.
“However, the issue is nation-wide and should be corrected immediately.”
Some voters on the roll were highlighted and others were not, raising serious suspicions among candidates, he said.
Yoviga pointed out that in Erase village in East Okapa, where, 250 eligible voters, there were only 13 ballots were sent and they refused to vote.
In another village with 309 eligible voters, only 191 ballots had arrived and they refused to vote but eventually did so or they would have missed out altogether.
Okapa returning officer Trexy Anakime confirmed only two ballot papers for open and two for regional seats were sent to Yagagite polling station.
He maintained that the distribution of the ballot papers was done according to the preliminary rolls.