Madang halts polls

National, Normal

The National, Thursday August 1st, 2013


COUNTING for the Madang urban local level government was suspended for an hour yesterday after candidates for the town mayor’s seat disputed a ballot box for Sisiak 3.

They filed a petition containing allegations of abuse in the polling process to Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen.

The petition claimed that there was no police presence at the polling booth at Sisiak 3 and that certain candidates and supporters influenced polling by issuing threats.

It claimed there were numerous instances where school children under the age of 18 voted at that particular polling area.

The petition claimed the presiding officer had failed to cross-check names of voters against the 

common roll and allowed people who were not on the common roll to vote. 

The candidates said they had eye-witness accounts of people entering the polling booth without their names being called out. 

Returning officer Laki Tongi said candidates with such grievances should follow the right process by taking the matter to court.

After count 20 yesterday, Steven Wapi led with 479 votes, followed by Saun Dambui with 446, Joe Yama third with 441  votes and Matagal Tamilong fourth with 402 votes.