20 Jul 2007

PNG electoral officials expect writs returned by July 30th deadline

4:48 pm on 20 July 2007

The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission is confident that it can complete the counting of votes in time to return the writs by July 30th.

Just a dozen seats in the 109-member parliament have been declared as officials cope with a cumbersome counting process and the impact of wet weather across the country during the ballot.

Mark Karambi, a spokesman for the Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, says they have ordered officials to speed up their counting and not allow interruptions.

"And not to consider anymore disputes by candidates or scrutineers. Not to entertain anymore these complaints by candidates and their scrutineers. We will just have to continue this process of counting because of the fact that time is against us."

Mr Karambi says those who want to contest matters arising from the poll will need to take them to the Court of Disputed Returns.