Service providers demand payments

National, Normal


SERVICE providers in the Highlands region want the Electoral Commission (EC) to settle all outstanding payments before the court-ordered recount of the Western Highlands regional seat.
The service providers, who rendered services to the EC in the recently-concluded Kandep by-election are anxiously waiting payment, have expressed concern over the delay.
The EC owed the service providers tens of thousands of kina for services like accommodation, reimbursements, catering, vehicle hires, venues, electricity, communication and facilities.
Services rendered were from Mt Hagen in Western Highlands, Wabag and Kandep in Enga and Goroka in Eastern Highlands province.
“We want the EC to settle all the outstanding debts before the recount of Western Highlands regional seat commences. If we cannot be paid two months after the completion of Kandep by-election, there is no guarantee for the recount venue owners to be paid,” an angry service provider from Mt Hagen who declined to be named said.
He called on EC chairman Andrew Trawen to ensure they were paid before the recount of the Western Highlands regional seat.
A service provider in Goroka produced a photocopy of an unsigned cheque written under his name.
He said it was only a photocopy of an unsigned cheque faxed to him from the EC accounts.
Attempts to get comments from Mr Trawen were unsuccessful yesterday.