20 Aug 2013

Elections official in PNG mystified by failed elections decision

3:16 pm on 20 August 2013

The elections manager in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea has defended the process during the local government elections in the province.

The Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, has declared failed local level government elections in Hagen Urban, Hagen Rural, Mul, Kotna and Muglamp.

The National newspaper reports the local manager, Philip Telape, saying he had not advised Mr Trawen to take this action.

In total Mr Trawen last week declared failed elections in 19 LLGs - in Enga, Jiwaka, Southern, Western and Eastern Highlands, because of violence and illegal practices during polling.

But Mr Telape told the media in Mt Hagen that the election in the province was conducted peacefully except for a few rural areas where there were some minor disturbances.

But he says boxes were safely returned and counting progressed smoothly in all districts while the majority of the ward councillors had been declared.