Tension rises over claims

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday October 29th, 2013


WITH two more weeks left before polling begins for the Madang Open by-election, tension and the heat is rising.

Provincial election manager, Cyril Retaw has the task of telling service providers during the 2012 general election and the recent local level government elections that the outstanding payments they had petitioned to be paid has not been provided by the Electoral Commission.

Retaw, who returned from Port Moresby after submitting those outstanding claims, said last Friday the commission headquarters would have to rescue his office.

The government has given K2.5 million for the by-election but many individuals engaged in the recent local level government electoral duties said polling would not start. Isikiel Nanua, a ward one recorder who worked in the recent election, said it was frustrating to see the government not finding the money to settle the K1.7 million owed. 

“Electoral officials will see the real fireworks come the day as we are all frustrated,” he said.

Beda Kadamon, a senior school inspector who worked during the elections in Bundi, said there should be no excuse by the government, as it did not have trouble finding the K2.5 million.

The group from Bundi have threatened to barricade the door to the Madang electoral office but decided against it after returning officer Adolf Duanga and Retaw calmed the rowdy crowd.

The petition asked for part of the K2.5 million to either offset outstanding debts, an immediate audit of the 2012 budgeted election expenses and payments be made from Madang and not Port Moresby.

While the issue simmers, candidates and their supporters are taking to the streets in their convoys, loud hailers and floats oblivious of how the prolonged delay will affect them.