The National, Tuesday 17th July, 2012
NIPA-KUTUBU candidate Pesab Jefferey Komal has condemned the actions of sitting member Philemon Embel in Mendi town last Thursday.
Komal expressed great concern at Embel’s claims at a mini-rally at the provincial offices while presenting a petition against irregularities in the progressive count of the seat.
“The sitting member claimed that he would have been leading by 25,000 votes. That is why he is saying something is wrong with the count. He is a senior statesman and these are very immature statements,” Komal said.
“If he believes he has delivered, he should be satisfied that he has done enough to be returned by the people. The people have spoken through the ballots, so just let the process go through until declarations.
“If he is unsatisfied, he can challenge after.”
Komal said it was still too early, with quality checks yet to be done and counting still incomplete.
Leading the count with 15 boxes left as of last Friday morning, Komal’s concerns were further strengthened by a clarification made by Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen last Thursday.
“Recounts are provided for only after the primary count has been completed,” Trawen said.
“Recounts cannot be considered when counting of primary votes is in progress.”
Trawen said recounts were done after quality checks had been carried out.
Claims of count irregularities have culminated in candidates trying to stop counting.
Most issues have been with polling officials, who were officially endorsed by returning officer, David Warkias.