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Writ for Goroka By-Election Returned

The writ for the Goroka Open By-Election was returned to the Governor General today by the acting electoral commissioner, Simon Sinai.

The Goroka by-election concluded on Saturday with the declaration of Aiye Tambua as the new member for Goroka Open.

In returning the writ, Acting Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai was pleased with the overall conduct of the by-election which saw the implementation of a number of initiatives by the Electoral Commission to improve the overall management of the election.

Initiatives the commission took in a bid to improve the conduct of elections here include increasing the number of polling team from 67 in the 2017 national elections to 160 in the recently concluded by-election, creating separate polling booths for women and girls, LLG based counting of ballot papers to training of scrutineers.

“Scrutineers were trained on the LPV system. When they are trained, they give less interventions or interjections or unnecessary objections to counting process. We have now identified that that is one of the areas we need to concentrate on and so all the scrutineers need to be trained;

Trained about voting, how the polling booth is set up, how the counting is going to different stages of the election operations,” said Sinai.

He said most of these initiatives look promising and they will look at adopting some in the National Elections in future.

He also raised concerns of using the Limited Preferential Voting system.

“The LPV system should now, as Papua New Guineans will see, who is their best candidate, or best leader in that electorate. So when you have the opportunity to cast the vote based on first preferential, second and third. The first you can give it to your wantok or whoever you want but the second and third vote supposed to go to person you think is best,’’ added Sinai.

The election was conducted at a cost of more than 6 million kina and Sinai said thanked everyone involved in making this election a success.

The return of writ for the Goroka by-election now signifies the conclusion of the electoral process.

The Goroka by-election was a result of a court decision and is the only petition that returned a decision for a by-election from the 87 election petition cases.

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