The National, Monday August 5th, 2013
The local level government (LLG) elections in Tebi, Hela, have been described as failed.
Polling in Tebi started last Thursday and ended on Saturday.
The constituency comprises 19 council wards, however, reports say polling took place in only 15 council wards.
According to one of the presidential candidates contesting for Tebi LLG seat, the council wards of Kela 2, Hewate 1, Hewate 2, and Kuandi 1 did not go to the polls.
Edward Ekape Pape described the elections in that part of Hela as “failed because most eligible voters majority of whom are women, never voted, ballot papers were forcefully signed, there were no proper security put in place, and certain candidates destroyed ballot boxes and papers”.
He appealed to the Electoral Commission to conduct an immediate investigation into this matter and allow the people from the four council wards to have their polling before counting starts in Tari this week.
“This is a clear breach of the Organic Law on LLG elections and related constitutional provisions in relation to citizens right to choosing leaders during elections. I am bringing this to the light as the silent majority cannot deny the fact that our inherent rights were abused by certain people. This is a very bad trend in Hela,” Pape said from Tari.
According to Pape, the details are as follows:
- In Tikipalu, Hangapo1, Kela 1, Itipu 5, Itipu 6, Kuku 2 and Kuku 3 council wards, no single person voted on his or her own will. Presidential candidates from these areas forcefully ordered the polling officials to sign the ballot papers for them;
- In Kela 2, Pari 1 and Kuku 1 arguments among presidential contenders and aggressive supporters resulted in supporters of candidates destroying the ballot boxes and papers and many eligible voters missed out on voting;
- In Hewate1, Hewate 2 and Kuandi 1, the polling started on Friday at 12 noon and a heavy rain at 2pm disturbed the polling while majority of the voters missed their chance to cast their votes.
- In other council wards most of the eligible voters did not have a chance to vote due to issues such as time constraints, bad weather, insecure polling place, aggressive behaviour of supporters, double voting and hijacking of ballot papers among others.