Kandep Open

Kandep trial continues

The Kandep open seat was one of those hot seats from the 2017 National General Election which not only saw disruptions during counting but lives lost as well.

The election petition trial over the Kandep open seat commenced on Monday July 13 and will run through to August 31.

Petitioner Don Polye will present his evidence through witnesses to support his allegations over the first 10 days of the trial before the Electoral Commission and sitting MP, Manasseh, present their case.

Polye has 56 witnesses listed to be called. Four gave evidence in court on Monday. 

​Court refuses Polye’s application

Polye’s lawyer asked the Waigani National Court to issue orders for the Kandep returning officer to have certain ballot boxes counted before declaration.

Those ballot boxes were set aside during scrutiny and Polye, in a statement that was produced in court, said those boxes were not objected by either polling officials or scrutineers.

He asked the court to compel the returning officer, Ben Besawe, to comply with a direction of the Electoral Commissioner to have them all admitted for counting. This direction was later retracted by the commissioner.

Polye appeals for fair play in counting

He expressed disappointment at the pace at which counting has been conducted so far for the Kandep Open seat at the Wabag counting centre.

With just 13 ballot boxes remaining for counting, he said counting should be expedited, adding a winner should have been declared by now.

He wants the Electoral Commission to appoint a new set of neutral counting officials to carry on counting from the remaining 13 ballot boxes.

COUNTING: Kandep Open progressive result – after count 33

He lags behind long-time rival and People’s National Congress candidate Alfred Manase, after count 33 of the primary count.

This is the progressive result with 40 more ballot boxes to be opened.

The current top three candidates are;

Polye untroubled by O’Neill visiting Kandep

Thirty- one candidates have nominated to contest the open seat in Enga Province.

Polye, who had been on a nationwide campaign trail for his Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) Party candidates, is beaming with confidence.

He said, he will make history by winning with an absolute majority in the primary count by 30,000 votes.

In 2012, he was returned to Parliament after reaching an absolute majority in the primary count, with a difference of 13, 000 votes from his nearest rival.

Polye calls for hijacking hot spots to be identified

He called on Commissioner, Patilius Gamato, to identify polling places which had attracted election petitions in the last three terms due to hijacking of ballot boxes and papers, and engage helicopters to transport ballot boxes.


Lawyer Manase orders newspaper to retract story

Manaseh in a press conference today said he will also be suing the former opposition leader Don Polye for releasing malicious statements.

He said the claims laid against him in The National newspaper were all lies and lacked evidence.

The newspaper in an article published a story claiming that Manaseh had a relationship with a female Electoral Commission officer and has a teenage daughter from that relationship.

Manaseh said these are all lies and tactics used by Polye to divert from the truth.