POM NE takes to the polls

Eligible voting citizens of the National Capital District (NCD) in the Port Moresby North-East Electorate (MNE) took to the polls today, July 11th after three delays on Monday 4th, Wednesday 6th and Friday 8th July 2022.

In a recent press conference, NCD Election Manager Kila Ralai stated that polling for the nation’s capital was delayed due to alleged interference from the candidates and scrutineers; and challenges faced by the NCD election team regarding the distribution of ballot papers to various wards and locations in NCD.

By 11 am today PNG Electoral Commission officials, escorted by Police transported ballot papers from the Sir John Guise Stadium to appointed polling locations in the MNE electorate.

Polling in Wards 56, 57 and 58 at Saraga, 6 Mile was pleasant. Men and women lined up peacefully in separate lines to cast their votes.

Incumbent MP and candidate John Kaupa joined fellow citizens in line to cast his vote.

On finally being able to exercise his right to vote, Kaupa said, “I’m feeling relieved now.”

Kaupa said the deferral has been quite costly to the candidates.

“I’m happy that I’ve cast my vote today.

“Everybody is happy because they’ve wasted a lot of time waiting for the electoral officials to come so they can cast their vote.”

One happy citizen who was not fazed by the delay of polling since last week was elderly citizen Tomil Bayune. She expressed relief and happiness at being able to cast her vote today.

Tomil turned up to the polling area in high spirits, buai filled smiles, crutches, an ongoing medical condition that has caused her feet to swell, and most importantly her hope for her candidate to win.

Tomil said she did not mind the polling delay. She just wanted to vote. She expressed that she can go home and stay off her feet, now that she has cast her vote.

It is expected that polling will conclude by this evening. This will then allow the Electoral Commission to facilitate counting and quality checks to take place over the following days.   

Marysila Kellerton