Dua: People blocked road because they want transparency


CHIMBU Governor Michael Dua says blocking containers containing ballot papers out from Kundiawa police station to Lae for recount is done by people who are concerned about transparency.
He said the ongoing protest in Kundiawa was by Chimbu people to change the recount venue from Lae to either Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Jiwaka or Western Highlands.
The people have twice stopped Electoral Commission officials and security personnel from moving the containers to Lae for recount.
They have petitioned the commission to change the venue. Dua said Chimbu was one province that conducted the best elections.
He said his election was “purely people’s choice”.
“During the election, I maintained the lead from the count of first preferences through elimination and declaration,” Dua said.
“Chimbu people are not stupid to take such actions by themselves. They believe in a clean and transparent election.
“The people who are protesting are from all the six districts.”
Dua said the first two attempts to remove ballot boxes were unsuccessful because the commission was doing things in isolation without consulting him as head of the province.
“Chimbu people are smart people and you can’t play hide-and-seek with them. They did what they think is right to ensure the recount is done transparently.
“I urge the Electoral Commission to be neutral and do things transparently.”
Commissioner’s delegate Simon Sinai said it was impossible to recoup the funds and divert them for a new recount venue.
Sinai said Lae was selected as a neutral recount venue to avoid law and order problems experienced in Chimbu straight after the National Court decision ordering a recount on Nov 27.