COUNTING for the Kandep by-election is expected to begin today in Goroka under tight police security.
Electoral Commission staff worked around the clock yesterday with police to ensure counting starts today.
Preparations included briefing of scrutineers for the 15 by-election candidates.
The scrutineers relayed messages to their respective candidates, who were already in Goroka.
Returning officer Poevare Tore could not be reached yesterday as he was busy with the preparations.
The counting will be held at the old Goroka betting shop, which has good security.
Eastern Highlands provincial police commander acting Chief Supt Augustine Wampe appealed to candidates and their supporters from Kandep to respect the residents of Goroka and allow the counting to proceed in peace.
Chief Supt Wampe confirmed the withdrawal of a mobile squad from Mt Hagen and Mendi yesterday.
He said there were enough policemen to continue to provide security for the counting, however, they would call for assistance if required.