24 Nov 2009

Counting for PNG's Kandep Open seat shifted due to security threats

10:14 am on 24 November 2009

The counting of ballots for the Kandep Open by-election in Papua New Guinea is to take place in the Eastern Highlands provincial capital Goroka this week.

The newspaper, The National, reports that ballot boxes were transported out of Kandep via Mt Hagen under tight police security into Goroka yesterday.

Highlands Police confirmed that after being initially changed to Mt Hagen, the counting venue was shifted to Goroka at the last minute by the Electoral Commission because of security threats in Kandep.

This came after counting officials witnessed several clashes involving high-powered firearms between supporters of rival candidates.

The by-election was called after the national court earlier this year nullified the victory of former cabinet minister Don Polye in the seat in the 2007 general election.

The return of writs for the by-election is set for December the 11th.