SHP Locals Say Electoral Commission Sets Wrong Precedence

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Local leaders in the areas surrounding Mendi town, schools, health, business and church representatives, yesterday gathered at Mendi Police station calling for the Prime Minister to intervene and control the situation in Mendi town.

The leaders said the Electoral Commissioner has set a wrong precedent in allowing for the counting of the disputed boxes.

They say EC must act promptly to deliver a Governor to the province, or the innocent people will suffer.

The people of Mendi town, mainly from the public and private sectors, gathered at Mendi Police station on Monday to air their concerns.

A youth, Brian Wap, who spoke on behalf of the other youths in the Province said the Electoral Commissioner, Patalias Gamato has set a wrong precedence by allowing the disputed boxes for the Southern Highlands Regional seat to be counted.

Wap said if the 84 disputed boxes are to be counted; he must also amend the law and allow for the other disputed boxes in other Provinces like for Kandep Open, Hagen Open and Kundiawa-Gembolg open to be counted also.

The community leaders who gathered yesterday spoke confidently that the action of the Electoral Commissioner shows a deeper interest by certain individuals into the Province’s LNG proceeds.

The people also demanded an apology from the previous Provincial Returning Officer who made an early declaration which they say was the cause of all these problems.

The private and public sectors said the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, who is also from Southern Highlands province, should not turn a blind eye on this issue, but speak up for the Province.

Vasinatta Yama

graduated from Divine Word University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, with majors in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as minors in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies. Her current focus is reporting on court and crime stories as part of the news team. She constantly strives to improve her skills in investigative reporting.

Vasinatta Yama

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