The National, Wednesday July 18th, 2012
By JUNIOR UKAHA
THE Tari-Pori open seat was the first of the 111 electorates in the country to return its writ to the Electoral Commission yesterday.Returning officer Willie Tara, accompanied by returning MP James Marape, officially handed over the writ to Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen to mark the end of the elections process in the electorate.
Trawen said he expected to receive the remaining writs for the other electorates by July 25.
He said that was necessary for him to prepare a comprehensive report in advance to present to the governor-general on July 27, when the writs are due to be returned.
“Writs for the other 18 declared electorates plus writs for the 92 remaining electorates have yet to be returned to me,” he said.Trawen said all the electorates were into the counting of primary votes, while some were in the exclusion and elimination stages, with declarations of winners expected this and next week.
He said so far 19 declarations had been made, the latest being Ambunti-Dreikikier.
Seats that have been declared are: Ialibu-Pangia, Manus open, Manus provincial, Maprik, Nuku, Aitape-Lumi, Pomio, Rabaul, New Ireland provincial, Kavieng, Namatanai, Kandep, Tari, Koroba-Lake Kopiago, Bulolo, Markham, Tewai-Siassi, Kirriwina-Goodenough and Ambunti-Dreikikier.
Trawen said while polling was smooth in all provinces, issues of continuous claims for allowances by officials and interjections by candidates and their scrutineers had caused unnecessary delays to the elections.
He said there were appropriate avenues for raising queries and those people with disputes must use them.
Trawen said he had directed that counting for Chimbu and Eastern Highlands be conducted day and night so the results were posted before the writs were returned next Friday.