Simbu recount deferred to tomorrow

The judicial recount for Simbu provincial seat will commence on Friday in Goroka, after much delay due to issues surrounding the venue.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato told this newsroom that containers containing ballot boxes for the provincial seat have arrived in Goroka with preparations underway to commence judicial recount tomorrow.

He said the containers were successfully retrieved from Kundiawa after some minor resistance and were transported safely to Goroka in Eastern Highlands with the support of police mobile units from Mt. Hagen.

Training of counting officials on electronic verification of ballot papers was completed on Tuesday. The recount venue at National Sports Institution facilities in Goroka is all set for the Returning Officer (RO) Kila Ralai to commence the recount tomorrow.

Commissioner Gamato said the RO today finalised training and logistics for the recount to start on Friday. Initially he had released a statement saying the recount would start today.

The Goroka Open seat was recently ordered to go for by-election, but Commissioner Gamato gave assurance that the Simbu judicial recount was a completely different activity apart from the Goroka Open election petition matter and interested parties should not worry.

He was responding to comments by Simbu Governor Michael Dua who expressed concerns over the recount being conducted in Goroka whilst the National Court has ordered a by-election for Goroka Open.

Sally Pokiton