Desperate Attempts Delay MNW Counting

By 11 am today, counting for Moresby North West had yet to begin. Returning Officer, Vincent Manukayasi says they were still waiting for scrutineers to turn up to the counting venue.

Manukayasi said from the beginning, this election has been unique due to all the interferences with the electoral process caused by candidates, scrutineers, and even supporters.  He termed these elections as ‘unique.’

Manukayasi expresses that the delays in the completion of counting and quality checks has hindered what should have been a timely electoral process.

He says this is due to many people claiming from the start of the elections, that this would be a failed National General Election.

He said, “Candidates when we started counting realized they don’t have a chance, riding on this agenda that it is a failed election. It is not the scrutineers fault. The candidates who don’t see a chance for themselves in the race are pushing the notion that this 2022 was going to be a failed election.

“Otherwise, in all cases and previous elections, scrutineers had a very important role in the scrutiny process and this has changed. Just because of this elections and the assumption from the beginning that it was already a failed election that’s been pushed by the candidates.”

Manukayasi also emphasized that despite petitions and demands being made by candidates, the counting process cannot be stopped unless by a Court Order. By law, nothing can be done till after the Return of Writs. 

“Two days ago they came up, ended up here in the middle of the night, saying they had a Court Order to stop counting. When in fact, they didn’t have one. So I suspended counting, waited for them the next morning to bring the Court Order and they didn’t have one. That’s how desperate these candidates are to stop counting.”

Manukayasi says it is an unfair situation to be in. He however remains confident that a declaration for Moresby North West will be made on Friday, in time for the writs to be returned.

Marysila Kellerton