27 May 2005

Monitors report few hiccups in successful Bougainville election

6:33 pm on 27 May 2005

The leader of the election monitoring team in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, Fiji's Ratu Epeli Ganilau, says the polling has been a great achievement with few hiccups.

Voting in the last constituency is expected to be completed on Saturday with the counting due to start next Tuesday.

Ratu Epeli says the overall impression is one of widespread enthusiasm among voters to take part in the historic election of the first autonomous government.

"There are hiccups like hiccups in normal elections - the same thing has happened here. But those hiccups are really minor, compared to what has been achieved."

Ratu Epeli confirms that some people have been left off the rolls and that this is a matter to be sorted before the next election.

He says voters have been philosophical when confronted with the news they are not on the roll and have said they will ensure they are enrolled next time.