POLLING in the Kandep Open by-election seat will end today with the completion of the remaining 11 polling sites despite minor supporter related problems, according to police and election officials in Enga province.
Acting provincial police commander Insp Albert Beli and election officials in Kandep district office, said people at 73 polling places in Upper and Lower Wage, Lai Valley and Mariant areas had cast their votes yesterday.
Mr Beli said polling in more than half of the polling sites had been completed while helicopters would be used today to conclude polling in the remaining 11 places, including Winja 1 and 3 which could not be reached by road.
He said the polling had started orderly under tight police presence on Monday and proceeded to the second day without any reports of serious problems including violations of election laws by parties involved in the polling including voters and Government officials.
“Generally, the polling ended quietly yesterday without any reports of major problems.
“We are now looking forward to an orderly counting,” Mr Beli said.
He said the counting was expected to start tomorrow or Friday in one of Kandep district buildings and results would be made known on the weekend or early next week.
“We are also looking forward to a peaceful counting,” Mr Beli said.
Two other Government officials said from Kandep that a speeding vehicle belonging to one of the candidates reportedly knocked down and killed a child who was on the road side at Tinjipak, in eastern end of Kandep.
They also said that a vehicle, believed to be owned by another candidate, was stoned on Monday near Murip wheat project site, while a ballot box was hijacked in Kainan yesterday in the Wage area.
“The vehicle was stoned because voters at that polling site suspected the people in the vehicle of carrying money to buy voters, Mr Beli said.
The Government officers could not give any details on the hijacked ballot box as they had no information about it as yet.
The by-election was ordered by the National Court in Mt Hagen two months ago after nullifying former MP Don Polye’s election on the seat because of foul play during polling.