27 Jul 2002

PNG Electoral Commissioner yet to decide future of election in Southern Highlands and Enga provinces

9:20 am on 27 July 2002

The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commissioner is to decide within the next day or so whether to call for an extension of the poll, or to have a supplementary election in troubled Highlands provinces.

The Supreme Court had been asked to rule whether new elections should be held in parts of Southern Highlands and Enga Provinces which have been worst affected by the violence and intimidation which has marked the poll.

But as Peter Niesi reports from Port Moresby, the judges have left the decision to Commissioner Reuben Kaiulo.


"The main thrust of the decision made by the five-man Supreme Court in the various references to the extension of the election has been that the onus would now be left with the Electoral Commissioner to observe what has taken place thus far and make a decisiuon on whether or not he thinks the elections in relation to Enga and Southern Highlands have been fair and free and then make a recommendation to the Governor-General. I would imagine in the next couple of days they'll have to make a decision given that the writs are expected to be returned on the 29th july which is Monday."

Peter Niesi.

Results from 88 seats have now been declared, but with possibly 15 seats in two provinces unable to return MPs due to missing or destroyed ballots, the next parliament may have only 94 members.