25 Jan 2006

By-election vote count begins in PNG's Bougainville province

4:54 pm on 25 January 2006

Counting has begun in the regional by-election in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville.

The Post-Courier newspaper reports that some 200 officials began checking the 152 ballot boxes last night.

Polling officials in Arawa have released the 35 ballot boxes locked up at Arawa police station after the Electoral Commission promised them their allowances would be sorted out.

The paper quotes assurances from the Bougainville elections manager, Reitama Taravaru, that the money is available and the allowances will be paid in due course.

The result of the election is expected to be announced on Friday.