Counting of the last two ballot boxes, 40 and 41, from the Mekeo LLG, was delayed on Thursday after polling and counting officials complained over issues of nonpayment of allowances.
Polling officials for teams seven and eight of Mekeo LLG have refused to be present to open the ballot boxes for counting because they are yet to get paid; the last two boxes were brought in by these two teams.
Kairuku-Hiri Returning Officer Tabu Vaira said the presiding officers from these teams must be present to open the ballot boxes.
Vaira confirmed that they are also still waiting on payments for the drivers of polling teams, service providers and also payment for the additional counting officials being engaged to do the night shift because they initially had one shift counters.
Vaira said counting will resume as soon as the assistant election manager for Central Province addresses the officials.
He expects counting to resume by this afternoon.
After count 39 progressive results, incumbent Member and National Alliance candidate Peter Isoaimo maintains lead on 12,904 votes ahead of former Member and People’s National Congress Party candidate Paru Aihi in second place on 10,049 votes.
For the Central Regional seat after count 39 from Kairuku-Hiri Electorate, Independent candidate Robert Agarobe maintains lead on 10,913 votes and incumbent Governor Kila Haoda in second place on 9,118.
(Loop file pic)