THE One-Day Polling For The National Capital District Was In Total Chaos Yesterday, When Electoral Commission Officials Refused To Work Until They Were Paid Their Allowance.
THE one-day polling for the National Capital District was in total chaos yesterday, when Electoral Commission officials refused to work until they were paid their allowance.
Thousands of voters who turned up early at various polling booths waited for about three hours until told that polling has been deferred to Friday, June 30.
Amid this chaos came news that four Electoral Commission officers had been arrested with two candidates and questioned at Boroko police station after police found suspicious documents, ballot boxes and K184,300 cash in their possession.
The four have since been released without charges after it was proven that the money was for camping allowance for polling officials and the ballot boxes were from polling booths that had opened at 8am before polling was abruptly halted and deferred.
Candidates vying for the regional and open seats have expressed frustration and disappointment, demanding an explanation.
Sitting MPs Michael Malabag, Justin Tkatchenko and Governor Powes Parkop has slammed the delay.
Other leaders elsewhere called for Electoral Commission to be held responsible for the Port Moresby fiasco and Electoral Roll discrepancies.
The delay in polling has also been costly with police losing more than K350,000 on car hire for one day to provide security.
Metropolitan commander Chief Superintendent Ben Turi said it was a waste of resource for the police who were looking forward to provide security for a safe, fair and free election.
Business houses that gave a day off to their workforce to express their constitutional rights to vote also expressed disappointment.
Bank South Pacific’s chief executive officer Robin Fleming was diplomatic, saying that the important thing is that issues affecting polling should be rectified and staff will be given time off to vote later in the week.
David Conn of PNG Business Council said businesses gave staff time off work and/or closed for the day. One business claimed that closing for the day cost it more than K200,000 in sales.