26 May 2005

Claims many missed out on Bougainville vote after being omitted from the rolls

10:01 pm on 26 May 2005

A leading presidential candidate in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, former governor John Momis, says thousands of people may have been denied a vote in the current elections and could bring an injunction to stop the count.

Voting in the province's landmark autonomy election has wound up in most areas but some have been denied a vote because their names are not on the common or supplementary rolls.

Mr Momis blames the elections' manager, Mathias Pihei.

"''People are not happy. Some people are even considering taking a court injunction to stop counting and getting the election manager to allow them to vote, but he claims that he can't do much about it."

Mr Pihei acknowledges that some have missed out but he puts the omissions down to having just six months to prepare for the poll.

Given the short space of time that we were able to put together and have 122 thousand (eligible voters) compared with the time that we were given, I still maintain that the roll that is certified and is appropriate for the election.