Returning officer arrested in Wabag

National, Normal

The National,Friday July 13th, 2012

FOLLOWING a report carried in this newspaper last week, an assistant returning officer in the Wape­namanda electorate, Enga province, was arrested and charged on Tuesday for the hijacking of two ballot boxes.
This was confirmed by provincial police commander Martin Lakari on Tuesday.
An elated complainant, Ben Wia, who is a candidate for the Wapenamanda open seat, said other criminals, including polling officials involved in the hijacking, would be arrested and charged soon.
“This action is criminal and deprives more than 3,000 eligible voters from exercising their democratic rights to vote freely and fairly and myself, as a candidate, to a free, fair and just election,” Wia said.
He said the counting of the two boxes had affected his placing in the race for the seat and he would pursue the matter in the Court of Disputed Returns once counting ended. He questioned the integrity of the 2012 national elections in the wake of the numerous complaints made about it.“One wonders about the kind of leaders we will have tomorrow if they are elected through illegitimate means,” he said.