Group seizes eight boxes at roadblock

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday July 30th, 2013


EIGHT ballot boxes for Lower Lai, in the Wapenamanda Local Level Government, in Enga, have been hijacked at a roadblock.

Polling officials transporting boxes in a 10-seater vehicle on July 20 were stopped at Takaipos by a group of men who removed all the boxes.

According to sources, the hijacked boxes were for Tupikotos,  Apenda, Kaimandda, Tombos, Yuk, Yalis One and Two and Takaipus.

Candidates Mek Masket, Paul Epe, Peter Sambai, Mison Pisata, Ismael Jona, Mita Kumba, Nick Andak, Steven Pulipila, George Imbu, Martin Mawa, Pes Leme and Jackson Iko want the boxes declared null and void.

They said more than 8,000 people had been deprived of their rights to elect leaders of their choice. 

It is understood that police at Takaipos were outnumbered and could not stop the illegal practices.

The candidates have given their statements to Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen, election manager and chairman of the provincial election steering committee Dr Samson Amea.

The candidates said after polling, the eight boxes were transported back to the district and the returning officer registered them for counting.

Meanwhile, people from seven rest houses were forced by supporters of a candidate to vote at Takaipos instead of the gazetted venue.