The scrutinising of election results in the new Jiwaka province will be done in Banz, the North Waghi elections Returning Officer, Andrew Kulangiye said.
Kulangiye told EMTV today in an exclusive interview that for security reasons, which is always the case in the Highlands, Banz will be the counting centre for Jiwaka Province.
“Volunteers are already clearing the field and putting things together to host the counting here,” Kulangiye explained.
He further added that the people of Banz welcome the decision and are voluntarily cleaning up the venue where the counting and tallying will occur.
“For Jiwaka, Jimi, North Waghi and Anglimp South Waghi, all counting will be done in Banz,” Kulangiye said.
When asked why the new Provincial Headquarters cannot be the counting centre, Kulangiye told EMTV Online that the decision is from the Electoral Commission and it is final.
“Banz was gazetted as counting centre and this cannot be changed at this time.” Kulangiye stressed.
“It is a decision from the Electoral Commission and not from an Individual. All electoral officers in the province are aware of that”.
Kulangiye was pleased to see the counting centre in Banz closer to the police station for security reasons.
Referring to electoral violence, Kulangiye said he was a victim due to misunderstandings between the candidates and the decisions of the Electoral Commission regarding the merging of polling venues, but they were contained.
“I am the victim of a recent political violence which we dealt with at the community level because I, as the returning officer, did not want it to interfere with the ongoing election processes”. Kulangiye said
“They bashed me up and broke three of my teeth.”
Kulangiye explained that due to an expected shortage of police personnel during the polling, nine polling stations in North Waghi were merged so that security man power can be utilised.
Meanwhile, Kulangiye also said the training for the polling officials and scrutineers will commence next week to prepare them for the polls and the scrutiny.
Image source: Christian Leaders Training College website