Protest stalls regional count

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 11th, 2012

A PROTEST by scrutineers for candidates in the Southern Highlands regional seat forced counting to be suspended yesterday.
The scrutineers claimed that they were not allowed into the counting centre before ballot boxes were brought into the counting venue.
They also claimed that officials were also coming late to the counting centres.
Provincial election manager David Wakias said the scrutineers should turn up early before the boxes were brought into the counting centre.
He said the counting would continue today. He said scrutineers who arrived late would be locked out.
Meanwhile the counting for the Nipa-Kutubu, Imbonggu and Mendi proceeded yesterday while Kagua -Erave was put on hold to allow for a quality check which was supposed to have been done on Monday.
Assistant returning officer Albert Wenz said boxes for the 10 leading candidates would be counted.
Meanwhile counting for the primary votes for Imbonggu, Nipa-Kutubu and Mendi wascontinuing after it started last Thursday.
There are 14 boxes remaining for the Mendi open. There are 30 boxes remaining before elimination starts.
After count 70, MP Pastor Isaac Joseph was maintaining his lead for Mendi open.
Philemon Embel was trailing in third place after count 72 for Nipa- Kutubu.
James Lagea was leading in Kagua-Erave while Francis Awesa was leading in his Imbonggu open seat after
count 57. There are less than 30 boxes remaining for the Imbonggu seat.