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Port Moresby
September 18, 2021
Highlands News Your Vote 2017

Gamato’s Decision on Change of Polling Station in North Waghi Remains

Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, says the decision has already been made to move the polling stations of nine Council Wards from the North Waghi electorate to Singorok Defense Force Barracks.

He urged the candidates and their supporters to concentrate on their campaigning, and to get ready for voting.

Gamato made this remark after being petitioned by some candidates vying for the North Waghi open seat, requesting him to revoke the decision.

The Electoral Commissioner, told EMTV News that the decision to change the polling station of nine Council Wards in the North Waghi area was in conjunction with the Provincial Police Commander, Chief Superintendent, Joseph Tondop.

He said the decision has already been made stating security and costs were reasons for the move.

Gamato said polling will start in June 24 and candidates and their supporters should allow the electoral commission to conduct the election.

“I’m aware of that but events have already taken place and we are already in the election motion,” said Gamato.

Last Monday at least eight candidates for the North Waghi seat with their supporters held a peaceful protest in front of the Electoral Commission Office in Banz Town.

They protested for Electoral Commission to revoke their decision to move the polling stations of nine Council wards to a non-gazetted area at Singorok Defence Barracks in Kerowil.

They raised concern that the safety and security of the candidates and their voters will not be guaranteed as each Council Wards have at least one candidate running for the Open seat or Regional.

Also raised was the transportation issues they will face as these nine Council Wards are scattered.

Three of the Council Wards are from Nondugul area and six Council Wards from the Banz area which have at least 18,000 eligible voters.

One of the petitions by the candidates was to change the current Returning Officer and his Assistant.

However, Gamato said it will be too late to change them as we are already in the election motion.

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