“Am not voting today,” Timothy Giwi Kulame, an intending candidate for North Waghi Open electorate told EMTV Online this morning (Tuesday 4 July, 2017) as Jiwaka went to polls.
He said, this has been a decision he made last night (Sunday 3 July, 2017) when he found out that 9 polling venues will be converged to a single location, Kerowil Singirok Barracks.
“As a candidate I am boycotting to show my frustration and anger over this unfair decision.”
Kulame said this is undemocratic and unconstitutional, something unheard of in Highlands and Papua New Guinea politics.
The issue of merged polling station was brought to the Electoral Commissioner’s attention through petitions by several candidates of the North Waghi Electorate in May. The EC responded that the reason has been the polling security.
“Centralising of polling places was the initiative of police security to effectively monitor and coordinate disturbances arising from these polling places,” Gamato said.
Meanwhile, trouble flared between supporters and a fight broke out when ballot boxes for 9 traditional polling stations were brought to Kerowil Singirok Barracks, the single gazetted polling station.