11 Jul 2007

PNG court orders tribe to release ballot boxes

1:46 pm on 11 July 2007

The Papua New Guinea National Court has ordered that thousands of tribesmen in Tari in Southern Highlands must hand over ballot boxes so the votes can be counted in the provincial capital, Mendi.

The ballot boxes were taken on the first day of polling on June 30th.

The tribesmen had wanted votes cast in their region of Southern Highlands to be counted there rather than in Mendi.

But our correspondent, Alex Rheeney, says the National Court has sided with a candidate who asked it to force the tribesmen to hand over the ballot boxes.

"So anyone who goes against the orders of the National Court will be in contempt of court, so it is understood that the ballot boxes are now being moved over to Mendi for counting."

Alex Rheeney