EC: 5mil to vote

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THE Electoral Commission is expecting about five million voters to participate in the 2019 local level government elections when polling begins on Saturday, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, pictured, says.
Gamato also announced that a total of 27,577 candidates had nominated to contest the 6,385 council wards in 331 LLGs in 20 provinces, excluding NCD and Bougainville.
Out of the candidates that were nominated, 332 were women and 26,737 were men. Gamato said due to time restrictions and limitations the polling and counting period had been reduced to six days, which meant that counting would begin as soon as polling ended.
“All polling materials including ballot boxes, ballot papers, ward rolls, indelible ink, voting compartments, polling kits and stationery have been dispatched to 20 provinces.”
Gamato said training of polling officials in the 20 provinces should have been completed by now.
Gamato said Morobe recorded the highest number of female candidates with 64 followed by Chimbu with 54 while West Sepik recorded the lowest with only two female candidates.
Jiwaka, Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands and Western did not field any female candidates.
Gamato confirmed that a total of 234 council wards had been declared unopposed because only one candidate nominated while seven council wards had not been contested as no candidates had been nominated for them.
The 234 council wards declared unopposed included : Eastern Highlands – 1; Hela – 8; Enga – 17; NIP – 1; ENB – 90; WNB – 7; Manus – 8; Madang – 19; Morobe – 13; ESP – 58; Gulf – 6; Northern – 6.
The seven uncontested council wards were all in East New Britain.

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