The Electoral Commission is now preparing to the start the counting process for the Kairuku-Hiri Open electorate by-election which is scheduled to commence on Saturday, Feb 8.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen says so far three local-level government areas including Hiri, Kairuku and Mekeo have completed polling except Koiari LLG due to bad weather.
“However, we have only three teams to complete polling in the Koiari LLG,” he said yesterday.
“One team should finish polling today (yesterday) while the remaining two teams will complete polling on Friday, Jan 31.”
Trawen said the ballot boxes containing ballots for Hiri and Koiari LLGs were stored at 15-mile police cell but were later moved to the container in front of the 15-mile police station.
Central provincial police commander Insp Laimo Asi, returning officer Kila Egaba, two assistant returning officers for Hiri and Koiari, and Southern Region elections operations manager Kila Burro were present together with the candidates, scrutineers and police personnel to witness the transfer of ballot boxes.
A storage container at PNGEC’s warehouse was moved yesterday morning to the counting venue at the PNGIPA hall to store all the ballot boxes for the four LLGs.
Trawen said all the ballot boxes for Kairuku and Mekeo LLGs were transported to Port Moresby yesterday morning from Bereina police station with full police escort and were now safely locked away inside the storage container outside the PNGIPA hall counting venue.
“Our ICT branch is progressing well with all its preparations for electronic counting, which has been re-scheduled to commence on Saturday, Feb 08,” he said.
Trawen commended the people of Kairuku-Hiri for their co-operation in ensuring a good and peaceful outcome of the by-election as well as Asi and his police personnel for providing security during polling.