Ahi leaders query officer’s credibility

Ahi leaders in Morobe Province are questioning the credibility of their returning officer.

Ahi LLG polling team officers for the last election, Morris Aaron and Stephanie Amos, said they were sidelined from their duties without any explanation.

Supporting them were Ahi leaders Moses Aisen, Busi Kahata, Philip Pavey, Willie Amos and Bart Nako, who claim that changes were recently made by the Returning Officer for the Lae Open Electorate.

The leaders have raised serious concerns about his integrity and the manner in which last minute changes to key polling officers have been made.

“We do not understand why many Ahi officials are being dumped at the very last minute and we will write to the Electoral Commissioner to intervene and reinstate all these experienced officers.”

Allegations of wantok system have also been leveled against him.

However, the Morobe Provincial Election Manager, Simon Soheke, has dismissed allegations of biased appointment of polling officials for Lae Open.

Soheke told Loop PNG that the allegations were from Ahi LLG polling team officers, claiming that the returning officer for Lae, Daniel Wasinak, recruited his own wantok to fill key positions.

Soheke clarified that those statements were not true and that those recruited were from across the provinces and not only from Sepik, as has been claimed.

He said they have met with the Provincial Election Committee on Tuesday and screened all those recruited and finalised the recruitment.

“There is nothing sinister going on in regards to the recruitment of the polling officials as they came from all over PNG,” Soheke told Loop PNG.

Soheke said the Electoral Commissioner has verified the recruitment process and saw no corrupt dealings involved.

Freddy Mou