Featured Highlands News Your Vote 2017

Three Ballot Boxes hijacked in Mul-Baiyer

Three Council Wards in the Mul-Baiyer Electorate, missed out on polling last Friday. These areas have a combined population of 3,000.

Their ballot boxes were hijacked while being transported to the polling area.

Two former parliamentarians, whose supporters did not vote, are appealing to the PNG Electoral Commission to allow them to go for re-polling.

The candidates are former member for Mul-Baiyer Lumusa, Sani Rambi, and former Western Highlands Province Governor, Tom Olga.

While transporting ballot boxes for the Mul Council area from Baiyer River, masked gunmen shot at the vehicle carrying the boxes and hijacked only three boxes for Keleg 1 and 2 wards, and Kelenga ward council, before escaping with the boxes into the bush.

The vehicle carrying the boxes was the leading car with security forces at the tail of a long convoy.

Rambi and Olga have petitioned the Election Manager to go for re-polling, having in mind that the three wards are their base votes.

The former Governor, Tom Olga, said the Electoral Commission needs to give a favourable response, as other Provinces are still polling.

However, Election Manager, Philip Telape, said the polling date for Western Highlands Province ended on July 8th and they cannot go for re-polling.

He said the incident occurred on the morning of July 7 last Friday, and the candidates had enough time to report this matter to the Election Manager’s Office. The news was received on Saturday, a day late.

Rambi and Olga disagreed with the Election Manager’s response, saying the Electoral Commission has issued a Press Release extending polling for the certain areas in the country, to next week.

However, Telape said this was for transportation and geographical issues that will prolong polling in those areas indicated by Electoral Commissioner, Patalias Gamato yesterday.

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1 comment

Nicholas Berriefin Frank 13/07/2017 at 19:23

The electrol officials were on board while the ballots boxes were hijacked. From my perspective the candidates should not be blamed but the blame should rest on the electoral officials. I don’t know any a good reason for the Election Manager to pass the buck to the candidates, this is completely premature. Give the people the chance to exercise their constitutional right to elect a good leader.

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