The Organic Law on Elections does not allow the deferral of counting during a General Election.
This was made clear by the Electoral Commissioner of PNG, Mr. Andrew Trawen, yesterday (July 2, 2012) following calls for deferral of counting around the country until every ballot box has been returned.
Mr. Trawen said the law stipulated that the people should not be made to wait around for long periods of time unnecessarily and were entitled to quickly know the results of the elections.
“The allegations through the newspapers are that if counting takes place before others have voted, then this might influence the outcomes, however, the Organic Law on Elections is quite clear on this issue.”
“Section 151 (a) states the conduct of scrutiny shall commence as soon as voting in the electorate is completed and we are proceeding accordingly,” Mr. Trawen said.
“I do not want to have people waiting around for the count to start, when election results need to be made known to the people as quickly as possible.
“Counting also needs to be done quickly to demonstrate transparency and openness,” he added.