Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed that all the three regions – Highlands, Southern and New Guinea Islands – have completed their polling and counting and declared their winning ward councillors.
Gamato said the NGI Region had all six wards in East New Britain declared unopposed, which means that no election conducted since only one candidate that had nominated.
He said Hela, Enga, Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Chimbu, Eastern Highland, Gulf, Western and Milne Bay brought in all their supplementary election reports/returns and the writs over the weekend.
In the meantime, less than 100 LLG election petitions have already been filed in the district courts.
“It is Electoral Commission’s duty to defend itself and the electoral process in the election petitions and I have also requested the National Government for funding to meet the legal bills,” Gamato stated.
Meanwhile, Bougainville referendum voting in the 20 provinces in PNG had been completed and all the ballot boxes and election returns/reports have been safely returned to PNGEC headquarters in Port Moresby for airlifting to Buka.
Voting in the 20 provinces, excluding Southern Highlands, had been very peaceful and orderly.
The PNGEC said the only issue was of Bougainvilleans in the provinces who turned up to vote but their names were not registered in the referendum roll.
However, the issue was resolved through the use of provisional voting allowed by the Bougainville Referendum Commission.
As such, those Bougainvilleans not captured on the referendum roll were given the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to cast their historical votes to determine Bougainville’s political future.