NCD polling will go ahead

NCD Returning Officer and Election Manager, Alwyn Jimmy, is confident that polling in NCD will go ahead tomorrow.

He said this afternoon that the main issue that deferred polling on Tuesday will be sorted out.

On Tuesday, polling officials in Moresby North-West, as well as parts of Moresby South, refused to conduct polling after their allowances were not paid on time.

This forced Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, to defer polling for all three NCD electorates.

Jimmy told the media that allowances will be paid, which he has asked to be done in cash to ensure polling takes place.

“The people that we organised to make payments must be immediately done today and tomorrow we’ll give the money,” he said.

“I’ve already told them they must give the money in cash.”

Today, all election materials, including ballot papers, polling booths and ballot boxes, were transported to the Rita Flynn Sporting Complex under heavy police guard.

A large group of people comprising polling officials, presiding officers, scrutineers, supporters and candidates stood outside impatiently as electoral staff began sorting out the materials.

The first items put aside were ballot papers from the Moresby North-East Electorate, which were used on Tuesday.

RO Jimmy said they will be discarded but it is yet to be decided how they will do that, however, he admitted he preferred to have them burnt.

Tonight, the pre-count will be done in full view of all presiding officers, scrutineers and candidates inside the sporting complex.

This is where ballot papers, corresponding to the number of voters on the electoral roll in a particular ward, will be handed to the presiding officers.

A sound system has also been placed outside for others not allowed inside to listen to and record details of the pre-count.

Jimmy reassures the voting public in NCD that polling will take place and he does not want a deferral.

Cedric Patjole