Writs due, counting suspended

While writs for the Laigap supplementary election is due tomorrow, counting has been suspended following the resignation of the Returning Officer (RO) Newman Wailyo.

Enga Election Manager Anton Iamau confirmed from Wabag that counting was suspended at 2pm today and that the RO has resigned.

He said he was also caught by surprise after he received a call from Wailyo who told him he had resigned and had already left the province.

A copy of his resignation letter was circulated on Facebook. According to that letter, Wailyo tendered in his resignation citing reasons of personal safety.

 “This decision has not been an easy one, but recent events and circumstances have compelled me to prioritize my safety and well-being. The challenges I have encountered while discharging my duties have become insurmountable due to the following reasons:

  • I have faced relentless intimidation and harassment from political candidates and their supporters involved in the supplementary elections. The pressure exerted upon me has been overwhelming and has compromised the intergrity of the electoral process;
  • The recent tragic shooting in Wabag town resulting the tragic loss of four civilian lives has heightened the risks to my personal safety. I have received numerous threats and menacing messages, posing a grave danger to my life.
  • The prevailing atmosphere of violence and electoral-related turmoil in Enga province has instilled an understandable fear for my life and the safety of my family. The history of electoral violence in the region underscores the severity of these concerns.
  • Regrettably, there is an absence of adequate security guaranteed for my life and that of my family and associates should I choose to continue my responsibilities as the RO, especially during the crucial counting process.

Considering these circumstances and the profound risk involved, I am left with no choice but to tender my resignation,” stated Wailyo in his resignation letter.

Election manager Iamau said he is waiting for the Electoral Commissioner to appoint a new RO before counting can proceed.

With the writs scheduled to be returned tomorrow, Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai is expected to announce the extension of the deadline to a later date.

Loop Author