The National, Tuesday August 07th, 2012
By SHIRLYN BELDEN
COUNTING for the National Capital District regional seat is expected to end by this afternoon before the writs are officially returned to the governor-general tomorrow.
Returning officer for Namatanai open Michael Agovaua, who has been appointed the NCD acting returning officer, said yesterday counting had been progressing well since he took over supervising the count last Wednesday.
The count was delayed because counting officials had not received their allowances.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen issued a seven-day extension last Wednesday to cater for the process to be completed.
Counting is in its elimination stage and has about 20 more exclusions left before a declaration is made.
As of the third exclusion yesterday afternoon, sitting Governor Powes Parkop was leading with 28,401 votes, followed by former governor and businessman Wari Vele on 19,432 and Michael Kandiu on 12,939 votes.
Counting has continued in day-night shifts between officials.
Agovaua was given the directive by Trawen last week to strictly supervise the NCD counting when the returning officer and assistant returning officer were suspended from duty.
He was joined by nine assistant returning officers, the provincial returning officer, two returning officers and an administration officer from New Ireland, who are now helping NCD counting officials.
The team was recruited by the Electoral Commission when they arrived in NCD to present writs for the province.