Lae Preps For Counting

Lae Open will start preparations for counting today.

Returning officer, Kusak Meluk, said they had hoped to start counting today but had to wait for Nawaeb Urban to remove their ballot boxes from the Sir Ignatius Kilage complex.

“We were trying to cut the container but we couldn’t because of the scrutineers,” he stated.

“We were afraid that if we had opened the container, the scrutineers would get suspicious and question us. It’s very sensitive at the moment.

“As of yesterday (July 6th), they took all their boxes so we are now ready to open the container (at district office), and take out timbers and plywood, shift them down to the stadium and set it up.”

Meluk said furniture will need to be placed inside the stadium, including the large tally board.

“We had a problem last night due to blackout,” he stated.

“All the scrutineers were angry and yelled at us. We have a generator there but there was no fuel. That’s one thing we’re going to organise also.”

The power went out in Lae for about 30 minutes. Meluk had to ask police officers and candidates to direct their lights to the container containing the ballot boxes.

He said counting will start as soon as preparations are complete.

Carmella Gware