Polls delayed by a week

National, Normal


Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen has decided to delay the by-election for Kandep Open seat by a week.
In a media conference yesterday, Mr Trawen denied he was under pressure by the ruling party to hold the elections quickly.
The by-election is held after the National Court declared the election of Don Polye null and void.After the court decision, Mr Trawen set tentative dates for the by-election.
Yesterday, he revised those dates by a week.
He said the Electoral Commission needed to be satisfied that all arrangements for the by-elections were in order, including the release of K4.5 million by the Treasury, gazettal of the appointment of three Electoral Commission officials tasked to run the by-election and the movement of necessary logistics such as ballot boxes and ballot papers to Kandep district.
The commission also has to move electoral officers who will conduct polling and counting to Kandep, and arrange security with Police Commissioner Gari Baki.
Mr Trawen said they had to be satisfied that all these arrangements were in place before the Kandep by-election could proceed.
He added that the delay would also allow the Electoral Commission to know the result of the notice of withdrawal of the Supreme Court review application filed by Mr Polye’s lawyers which is schedule for hearing this Thursday.
The revised programme for the Kandep Open seat by-election to be sanctioned by the Government House is:
Issue of writs – Thursday, Sept 17 (4pm)
Nomination close: Wednesday, Sept 23 (4pm)
Polling starts: Saturday, Nov 14
Return of writs: On or before Friday, Dec 11
Mr Trawen brushed aside comments in the media that he announced the dates within days to fast track elections as he was under pressure as nonsense.
“I did not announce the dates for the Kandep by election within days … I did so after almost two weeks and after studying the National Court decision. I am not under pressure by National Alliance or anybody. It is incumbent on me to call by-elections.”