The National, Friday 03rd August 2012
By YVONNE HAIP
ELECTION officials in Southern Highlands have called on the Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen not interfere with the work of poll officials based in the provinces.
That was one the suggestions after a post-mortem examination of the election by the provincial election steering committee chairman Dr Bravy Koensong.
Koensong said among the interesting results from that was the fact that people wanted change and to maintain a good name for the province.
He said the impact on the minds of the people that they were the host province of the Prime Minister, and that the rich liquefied natural gas project was great, had started a new era with one of the best elections.
Despite the successful election, he said there were setbacks which included a new trend of politics in the province where candidates were disputing “base votes” of other candidates.
Koensong described this as malicious behaviour that invited problems and created tensions among candidates.
He said lawyer candidates used their profession to “bring all sorts of court orders”.
“What they know in law as a lawyer is not the basis for argument.” They can do that after the counting process,” he said.
He said candidates and scrutineers had started an unhealthy tactic of reporting directly to the electoral commissioner and the commission’s legal advisors.
“If the commissioner and his legal advisors allow the normal process in province, and stop entertaining them, this will help smooth running during elections,” he said.
“Disputing scrutineers must be at the counting centre, not the commissioner’s office.
“Going directly to the commissioner, who is entertaining them, means that there is no need for election managers and steering committees.
“Let the commission handle them all because there is no trust for those on the ground. Let the commissioner entertain them himself or change the law and run the elections one by one.”
Koensong said much of the problems had been caused by the electoral commission and that had frustrated all, including the security forces.