PNG Electoral Commission issues Southern Highlands warning

5:01 pm on 14 September 2017

Candidates for the Southern Highlands regional seat in Papua New Guinea's election and their supporters have been warned not to disrupt the vote count.

The Electoral Commission said that those who further disrupt the count process can be arrested and charged with contempt of court.

A result in the last remaining seat to be declared in PNG's general election has been delayed by almost two months.

It's due mainly to a dispute over ballot boxes which held up the counting of votes and elimination of candidates on preferences.

The national court last week ruled that 84 disputed ballot boxes should be included in the regional seat's vote count

Election boxes in PNG

Election boxes in PNG Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

But on Sunday, supporters of some candidates prevented security forces from transferring the boxes from Southern's capital Mendi to Mt Hagen for counting.

The Commission said that it was illegal for any person to stop the boxes being included in the count.

Violence around the election for the provincial seat has flared numerous times in recent months, leaving at least five people dead in and around Mendi.