21 May 2005

Plan to stop ballot cheats as polling continues in PNG's Bougainville

8:37 am on 21 May 2005

Voting for an autonomous government in Bougainville is set to continue today throughout villages in the Papua New Guinea province.

Up for grabs is the job of president and 39 seats in a new assembly for the province of 175-thousand people.

Four ballot papers are issued - one for a president, one for a constituency candidate.

There is one ballot paper for candidates standing for the three seats set aside for women, and another for the three seats allocated to former combatants.

The news agency, Australian Associated Press, reports election officials are daubing the fingers of voters with indelible ink as a precaution to prevent multiple voting.

Police are sure there is enough widespread enthusiasm among Bougainvilleans for the election to succeed.

Electoral officials are confident voting will go smoothly until the second of June.

Officials are confident that voting will pass off peacefully within the island's so-called no-go zones where former militants still hold sway.