EC Seeks Extension Of Writs For SHP

The Electoral Commission will seek further extension from the Governor General for the Return of Writ for Southern Highlands Provincial seat, which has faced delay in counting.

Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai said any discussions and talks of failing an election and calling for a Supplementary or a By Election is not on his table and will not happen as costs of running elections have escalated and are expensive.

He has written to Governor General, Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae yesterday, 12 August, requesting extension for the Return of Writs for Southern Highlands and other remaining electorates that are still into counting.

“The last extension for the Return of Writs from 29 July to 12 August expires on Friday, 12th,” he said.

The Commissioner called on all Southern Highlanders to cooperate and allow for the electoral process to continue without interference and delays to the counting process, as has been the case in the past couple of weeks.

"I am calling on all Southern Highlanders, especially those in Mendi to observe and respect the rule of law and let the electoral process continue without interruptions," he said.

Mr Sinai said the Commission would be seeking more police reinforcement to SHP to beef up security on the ground and ensure that the counting is completed and result delivered.

The Commissioner expressed concern on the public perception people have on Southern Highlands as a place of trouble and urged local leaders and supporters to put politics aside and think about building and protecting the image of the province.

"The democratic process that we have adopted is not about physical fight, but it is a fight through the ballot papers and whoever scores well during the scrutiny and counting process wins. It's a game, one has to win and one has to lose.

“If you are aggrieved by the outcome, you can always see in intervention from the court," he said. 

Press release