By ZACHERY PER
FORMER deputy prime minister Don Polye collected 3,398 votes to maintain a comfortable lead of 2,058 votes when counting of votes resumed yesterday in Goroka.
His nearest rival, Luke Alfred Manase, trailed with 1,340 votes in the primary vote counts in the Kandep by-election.
These figures were posted by the Electoral Commission at the end of count 10 last night.
Counting resumed at 10:30am yesterday amid protests by disgruntled polling and counting officials over outstanding allowances.
Protesting officials from Hela, Madang and Morobe assaulted acting returning officer Simon Sinai on Wednesday, halting the counting process.
However, respective assistant returning officers (AROs) and election managers who led polling teams into polling venues in Kandep identified their boxes, which were counted, while boxes for the protesting officers were left untouched.
According to one protest official, they will not cooperate with the EC for their boxes to
be counted, until their outstanding allowances are paid in full.
The official, who declined to be named, said that money for their allowances had been disbursed and wanted to know why they had not been paid.
Mr Sinai and a skeleton EC staff were working round the clock to count the votes using the four stations of the newly introduced electronic counting system.
After count 10, a total of 6,129 ballot papers were counted from which 13 were informal and 6,116 papers were allowed.
The first preferences distributed at count six for Yapum rest house were Herman Lyamugi Anep (336), Polye (321), Manase (19), Kenneth Yonge Andrew (6), Be Pebo (3) and Wage Moses (one). The rest scored zero.
From a total of 656 votes cast at Mumunt 1 polling place, Mr Manase picked up 347 votes and Mr Polye managed 309 votes, others picked up nothing at count seven.
The count eight distributions for Porokale polling place were: Manase (24), Andrew (105), Lesri Mose Yaka (one), Polye (300), Pebo (39), Moses (five), India Rasta Pupakai (one), Robin Aipi Kurum (one) and Anep (209).
While at count nine for Murip polling place, Manase got 33, Andrew (nine), Polye (221), Pebo (34) and Anep (93).
The distributions for the first preferences for Lagalap 1 at count 10, Peter Mision Yaki picked up seven, Manase one and Polye 737 votes.
The progressive first preference count as at the end of count 10 stands as Polye (3,398), Manase (1,340), Andrew (358), Pebo (167), Mision (117) while the rest scored below 50 and a good number is yet to score.
Counts 11 and 12 were continuing last night at the time of going to press.
There are exactly seven days remaining for the writs for the Kandep seat to be returned to the Governor-General on Dec 11.