Polling Extension Likely in West Sepik By-Election

by Stanley Ove Jr – EM TV News, Port Moresby

The PNG Electoral Commission is considering extending the polling period for the West Sepik Provincial by-election.

While polling is scheduled to end this Friday (24 July), but logistics and financial delays are stopping polling teams from entering Telefomin District in West Sepik.

Bad weather and technical problems with one of the helicopters being used is also hindering the movement of polling teams. Out of the 84 polling teams in West Sepik, 66 are still yet to complete polling.

The turnout of voters in polling venues is also affecting results. Electoral Commissioner Sir Andrew Trawen said the number voting for the Provincial Seat is below the 2012 general elections and is urging more voters in West Sepik to contribute.

Meanwhile, the Goilala open by-elections have reported no major incidents. Out of the 39 teams sent to Goilala, 10 teams are still yet to complete polling.

The counting of the Goilala open will be conducted at the PNGIPA hall in Waigani, while a venue is yet to be selected for West Sepik.

Counting for both electorates will be done using the electronic verification of ballot papers.

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