By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, is of the view that the recount of the Simbu Regional Seat should not be moved to Lae due to security risks involved.
The commissioner will be seeking clarity from the Ombudsman Commission on whether the court order issued allowed the change in venue from Kundiawa to Lae. Mr Baki is of the view that there are security issues that should be given consideration to before deciding to change the recount venue.
Commissioner Baki says he will be speaking to the Electoral Commission and if the court order specifies for the recount to be done in Lae, then the police may make submissions at the National Court to have the recount done in Kundiawa. However, the Electoral Commission released a statement on the 15th of this month, saying its decision to do the recount in Lae would not be changed, stating that half a million kina has already been paid to service providers in Lae to facility the recount adding that the decision was to avoid escalating ongoing law and order issues already experienced in Simbu Province.
The practice to have a recount of certain seats in other province is not new. In 2010, the recount for the Western Highlands Provincial Seat was conducted in Port Moresby.
And In 2014 the recount for Gumine Open was done in Lae.
But the police commissioner says based on past election experiences, moving the recount venue will create more security concerns for people in both Lae and Kundiawa.