Polling in Highlands going well despite delay

Polling in the Highlands Region is going well despite some delay faced on Monday.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed in a media conference today that polling for Eastern Highlands Province commenced yesterday as scheduled.

However polling in Hela and Chimbu Province and some electorates in EHP were delayed.

Gamato says that the one-day polling in Simbu had to be deferred to sort out candidate grievances over the Electoral Roll.

Instead of polling in Hela on Monday, the day was spent addressing the issue of selected presiding officers disputed by a few candidates.

These candidates claimed that the presiding officers were seen publicly campaigning for other candidates.

Meantime, polling for EHP went ahead as scheduled except for Ungai Bena, Daulo, Okapa and Obura-Wonenara electorates due to the delay of ballot boxes delivery.

The contract for the distribution of ballot boxes for the Highlands Region was given to Heli Solutions Ltd but because there was no chopper available they had to sub-contract to Pacific Helicopters. 

Gamato said Pacific Helicopters are now demanding the first payment from Heli Solutions and because of that there has been some delay for remote areas like Okapa and Obura-Wonenara District. 

Jiwaka and Southern Highlands Province will conduct polling on Friday, June 30th  with Enga and Western Highlands to go to the polls on July 4.

Meanwhile, polling commenced and is going well for all provinces in the Momase region.

Gamato says that the progress on polling is on track across the country adding that Electoral Commission will continue to address any issues that arise.

Quintina Naime