People misinformed electoral commissioner, says Koensong

National, Normal

The National, Thursday July 26th, 2012

DIRECT communication between candidates, their  supporters and the Electoral Commission has resulted in slow counting and disputes, officials say.
Officials in Enga, Southern Highlands and Western Highlands said there were people communicating directly with the commissioner, disregarding people on the ground, and this affected the election processes.
Southern Highlands provincial election steering committee blamed a “communication failure” for the “fake” or failed election in Nipa-Kutubu
Committee chairman Dr Bravy Koensong said there was no failed election in the district as “polling and campaigning had been conducted without disruptions”.
“With disregard to election officials on the ground, some candidates had been directly feeding the electoral commissioner with misleading information and that was affecting the smooth running of the counting process,” Koensong said.
Koensong said the issue would still continue and Commissioner Andrew Trawen should clear his position on the matter.
He said there was a lack of communication between the Electoral Commission and provincial election staff which had resulted in problems.
He said counting had been slowed down because Trawen had based his decision on reports from few scrutineers and candidates.
“We don’t know who is feeding the commissioner information.
“The information passed on are totally wrong and misleading,” Koensong said.
“It would have been better if people would follow protocol.”
The officials said the issue of security was now a concern because of the nature of their job and the environment they were working in.
They said large sums of cash had been used in campaigns and candidates would only settle for what suited them.