The National, Thursday 05th July, 2012
By SHIRLYN BELDEN
SIX provinces will continue polling beyond tomorrow’s scheduled deadline because of delays created by logistical problems and adverse weather conditions.
The Electoral Commission general election schedule says all polling should end by tomorrow, July 6. But it is obvious the six provinces will need more time to complete polling.
Chimbu and Eastern Highlands have yet to start polling.
Other provinces who have completed polling have started or about to start counting.
The writs should be returned on or before Friday July 27.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen yesterday released an election update.
lWestern – A fixed-wing aircraft will be arranged to airlift boxes from Middle Fly and South Fly open electorates for the provincial seat to Kiunga for counting to commence next week. A fixed-wing aircraft will also be arranged to take officers to their respective counting venues this weekend. All polling in the province should be completed by tomorrow.
lGulf – Polling continues in the Kerema open electorate. There are still many teams and ballot boxes to be collected and returned. All polling activities will be completed by tomorrow. Only two polling teams may conduct polling beyond tomorrow affecting four villages. Counting is still expected to commence on Monday.
lNCD – Counting for NCD is yet to be confirmed.
lCentral – All polling activities have been completed following the extraction of the last three polling teams and venues for counting are being established. The provincial election steering committee has decided that counting will commence next Monday.
lNorthern – Polling is proceeding well and all polling teams and materials are expected to return to Popondetta by Friday. Briefing for all counting officials will take place on Saturday. Counting commences on Sunday.
lMilne Bay – Polling in all areas should be completed by Friday except for Samarai-Murua open electorate which will be delayed to await the naval patrol boat scheduled in Alotau yesterday. Counting for all other areas excluding Samarai-Murua is expected to commence on Monday or Tuesday.
lMorobe – Three electorates (Lae, Huon Gulf and Nawaeb) out of the 10 have completed polling and are awaiting return of the last ballot boxes for the verification process of election returns to begin. Counting is expected to begin for the three electorates today or tomorrow.
lMadang – Polling should be completed today. Bogia and Raicoast open electorates may have a few teams finishing tomorrow. Counting is expected to start on Sunday.
lESP – All 222 polling teams should have competed polling by yesterday. Counting venues for East Sepik are being re-organised after the PNGDF withdrew the use of Moem barracks following allegations made against soldiers. Counting is expected to commence today if the venues are ready for use.
lWSP – The situation has improved in Telefomin and Oksapmin with polling expected to be completed tomorrow except Yapsie which may go beyond the scheduled deadline. A second helicopter is now working in the area and polling teams are expected to complete polling on Friday. Polling in Aitape-Lumi and Nuku was expected to finish yesterday. Vanimo-Green River is yet to confirm the completion of polling. Counting for West Sepik is expected to commence on Saturday.
lWest New Britain – All polling activities are completed. Counting is expected to commence on Friday or during the weekend.
lEast New Britain – All polling activities are completed with counting to begin on Monday.
lManus – Counting began yesterday.
lNew Ireland – All polling in Kavieng and Namatanai open electorates are complete. Counting should start
lBougainville – The NZAID chartered vessel MV Bougainville Atolls is expected to arrive in Buka today to ferry polling teams and materials around the Bougainville atoll islands of Carterets, Mortlock and Tasman Group of Islands. Counting will be conducted in venues on Buka Island from Monday.
lSHP – Counting for all electorates is progressing well in Mendi.
lHela – Tari town is reported to be quiet with people sitting around while counting continues for its three open electorates and the provincial electorate.
lEnga – Counting for Kandep and Wabag open electorates had commenced in Wabag. Counting for Lagaip-Porgera, Kompiam-Ambum and Wapenamanda should have started yesterday.
lWHP – Polling started on Monday and concluded yesterday except for one polling venue.
lJiwaka – Polling in the new province started yesterday.
lChimbu – A date for polling in Chimbu, which goes to the polls after Jiwaka, is yet to be set.
lEastern Highlands will be last province to conduct polling.