Hagen poll officers demand payments

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 15th Febuary 2012

FRUSTRATED enrolment and quality checks officers stormed the electoral office in Mt Hagen yesterday morning, ordered the election manager and his officers out and locked the main gate to the office.
More than 50 leaders of enrolment teams from the Dei, Hagen central, Tambul-Nebilyer and Mul-Baiyer districts gave seven days’ notices to the Electoral Commission to pay all their outstanding allowances or its officials would not be allowed to return to the office.
Other officials engaged in quality checks of the enrolments forms said they would not hand in the forms.
One of the team leaders, Joseph Nikints, from Hagen central, said they wanted the Electoral Commission to pay them their risk allowance, working and advance allowances.
Nikints said their training allowance of K100 was paid to all officials before the common roll updates were carried out.
He said the money was budgeted for the common roll update exercise in the province and there should not be any delay.
He said every officer knew exactly how much they would receive.
Nikints said service providers such as hire car owners were yet to be paid as well.
Another official, Samuel Rombil, said other officers engaged in quality checks would not hand in their forms until they were paid.
He said the forms were still with the officials and it was now up to the Electoral Commission to find the money to pay them.
Rombil said if they were not paid, the general election in the province would be affected.
He said the main gate to the provincial electoral office would remain shut until they were paid their allowances.
Electoral officials were not around to comment on the matter.