Moresby North-East: Polling underway

Hundreds have gathered at the two polling stations at Mini Market, Six-Mile, to cast their votes.

Team 30 has 724 ballot papers with an extra 26, bringing the total to 750. Team 31 has a total of 450 ballot papers.

People on site outnumber these figures but they are willing to go ahead.

They have also raised concern that there is a mix up in the names; their names are found in a different electorate and names of voters from other electorates appear in their area.

​Simbu completes polls

Chuave Returning Officer, Peter Are, confirmed this with Loop PNG.

He said they are now awaiting the extraction of ballot papers to Kundiawa.

Are said polling was conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner.

He said even though they started a day late, they have finished on time.

He added that the Simbu Provincial Election Steering Committee had come up with strict security measures and nothing will be illegally conducted in regards to ballot papers.

​Helicopter firm defends itself

A spokesman said they were ready for Eastern Highlands, Simbu and Hela when polling was scheduled for June 26.

Delay on ground due to candidate grievances and other factors saw polling in some of these areas deferred, therefore the helicopter company left, with clearance from Electoral officials, to attend to other electoral jobs that needed their assistance.

This morning they have sent two helicopters to Eastern Highlands Province and one to Simbu Province to assist in insertion and extractions of polling teams for the remote areas.

​Heavy rains disrupt Wewak polls

Wewak Urban LLG, which was supposed to hold its final day of the two-day polling, got cancelled. The same went for Wewak Rural, Wewak Island, Turubu and Boikin-Dagua.

Wewak Returning Officer, Thaddeus Ulapapik, confirmed to this newsroom that weather was to blame for suspension of polling today.

He said polling will resume depending on the weather.

Ulapapik is confident polling will be completed within the gazetted 14 days.

Meanwhile, the RO appealed to candidates to educate their scrutineers so they do not delay the flow of polling. 

Central Bougainville polling delayed again

The region consists of four districts, Arawa, Panguna, Wakunai and Kieta, and the delay has affected over 40 000 eligible voters.

CBR Returning Officer Denise Palipal confirmed reports received from the voters that many of the names are not on the electoral roll.

Palipal and CBR police commander Spencer Aila urged all 49 polling teams not to carry out polling until the preliminary roll is printed and distributed to them.

Palipal confirmed that they will be using the preliminary roll from the 2012 elections.

17 provinces commence polling

Most of the delays around the country have been due to issues of missing names on the electoral rolls, security, outstanding service providers’ costs, disagreements with election presiding officials and movement of materials due to bad weather for those rural areas.

He said these when giving an update on the progress of polling in the provinces, since Saturday, from across the country.

In the New Guinea Islands region, all five provinces started on Saturday except for New Ireland, which commenced polling on Monday, and Bougainville.

​NCD polling deferred!

The Electoral Commission confirmed this morning after confusion hit the nation’s capital at the start of its one-day polling.

All electorates in NCD will go to the polls on Friday after electoral officials raised concerns over their allowance not being paid last night.

There is also confusion over the electoral roll as most eligible voters’ names are not on the roll. Even some candidates’ names are not on the roll.

​Simbu polls underway

Provincial Election Manager Tom Sine told Loop PNG this morning that everything has been prepared and polling teams are ready to conduct the polls.

He said despite the deferral on Monday, people are looking forward to casting their votes today.

The one-day polling, scheduled for yesterday for the three highlands provinces, did not eventuate in some districts due to grievances raised by candidates and supporters regarding the Electoral Roll and other issues.

More to come...

Tkatchenko appeals for strict monitoring during polls

When addressing the media today, Tkatchenko said the last thing we want is a failed election.

He said this following reports of ballot papers floating around, as published on social media.

“We need to get to the bottom of it immediately,” Tkatchenko said.

“We cannot allow candidates doing these illegal practices when we have a democratic system that is being run for the benefit of our people.

“People must vote freely without being cheated by these actions.

Polling starts in Bougainville

The distribution of ballot papers from Arawa police station to the three regions; North, South and Central Bougainville, started on the weekend.

Ballot papers for nearby areas were dispatched this morning.

Security personnel include seven correctional service officers, 64 regular police personnel and assistance from the New Zealand Police.

The 64 regular police personnel have been split into two teams; the polling team and response team.