Goroka by-election deferred to Sept 24

Acting Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai, announced late yesterday afternoon that polling for Goroka by-election is now further delayed to Thursday, 24 September.

Sinai made the decision following a petition signed by 21 of the 22 candidates calling for the delay to sort out a number of issues and allegations.

Some of the issues raised in the petition included allegation of a certain print shop in Goroka printing ballot papers for distribution to the eight (8) polling places in an attempt to rig the by-election.

In response, the Acting Commissioner assured all the 22 candidates that all the ballot papers for Goroka by-election are well-secured and guarded.

“All the ballot papers for Goroka by-election have been serialised and have hidden security features which cannot be photocopied or printed by a regular print shop,” he clarified.

“Ballot papers are issued according to the number of voters on the roll for each polling place; therefore, no extra ballot papers would be allowed.”

Meanwhile, petitioner Bire Kimisopa, in a separate petition, questioned the use of police security surveillance cameras at the polling places.

Sinai, however, gave assurance that the surveillance cameras would not, in any way, interfere with voters marking their choices in secret as required by law.

“The police security surveillance cameras would be installed at wide angles to monitor the entire polling place to capture any instances of election malpractice or violence.”

He explained that the cameras will not be installed anywhere close to the polling booths or zoomed down on voters marking ballot papers.

“This is part of police security management at polling places and counting venues now being trialed out in the Goroka by-election for 2022 and future elections if proven successful.”

Sinai appealed to all the 22 candidates and their supporters to cooperate and work together with the Electoral Commission and Police to have the by-election completed successfully.

Press release