Polling for Goroka by-election in PNG delayed

12:51 pm on 22 September 2020

The Goroka by-election in Papua New Guinea has been delayed again after a petition by candidates.

Goroka town, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea.

Goroka town, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZ

PNG's Acting Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai has announced that polling has been postponed until Thursday.

Polling for the long-delayed by-election was to have begun yesterday.

But a petition signed by 21 of the 22 candidates contesting the seat sought a delay for the commission to investigate "a number of issues and allegations".

The candidates were concerned about the security of ballot papers.

Sinai assured them of measures to safeguard the integrity of the ballot papers.

However, one of the candidates, former MP Bire Kimisopa, also filed a separate petition, questioning the use of surveillance cameras at polling places.

The police cameras were a new addition to polling, and Sinai said they would not be zooming in to booths to watch voters mark ballot papers

It was Kimisopa who triggered the by-election process by filing a petition disputing returns that saw Henry Ame win the seat in the 2017 general election.

Bire Kimisopa

Bire Kimisopa Photo: EMTV