Polling in Paramana village in Abau District continued to be disrupted today over alleged issues with the electoral roll.
The Returning Officer for Abau Open Electorate, Lawrence Baro, said the Presiding Officer and polling team have been advised to continue to use the electoral roll they have and not the version that’s in the hands of scrutineers.
Mr Baro urged the people with names on the roll, to go ahead and exercise their democratic rights.
Paramana village began polling well just after 10am yesterday. Hundreds gathered to cast their votes, including a local candidate. But it was less than an hour later.
Scrutineers disputed the electoral roll, alleging that it was the 2012 Electoral Roll. Returning Officer for Abau, Lawrence Baro, said otherwise.
Today Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, said from the Electoral Commission Headquarters in Port Moresby that no Electoral Roll is ever accurate. He said PNG’s Electoral Roll is accurate enough to give confidence to run the National Election.
In the meantime, apart from the incident at Paramana, the first day of polling went generally well for the Abau District. EMTV visited the villages of Maopa, Pelagai and Keagolo where polling proceeded throughout the day.
Mr Baro said polling in the Cloudy Bay LLG has progressed smoothly but not without similar concerns with the Electoral Roll.
As for the Amazon Bay LLG, a candidate’s supporters from the Borebo Ward are taking advantage of the lack of security personnel in area, threatening locals to vote for that candidate.
The Returning Officer has warned those supporters to stop the intimidation, or be dealt with by the mobile squad, which is on standby.