10 Jul 2012

PNG election observer says some disruptions in counting process

4:38 am on 10 July 2012

A domestic observer monitoring Papua New Guinea's general election says that there have been some disruptions in the counting process which is underway in 8 of the country's 22 provinces.

While around 80 percent of the country has finished voting, the Electoral Commission has extended polling into a third week in several provinces where delays have been experienced.

Elsewhere, there have been reports of scrutineers, including people who work for candidates, interfering with the counting process.

An election observer, Ray Anere, of the National Research Institute, confirms that there are a number of incidents related to issues of fairness which will need to be taken up after the election, including interference with ballot boxes.

"And there have been some disputes, particularly by scrutineers, which have led to delay of counting but I think those delays have been addressed. So yes, there are some hiccups on the way that amount to a disruption of the counting process, that's here in the National Capital District."

Ray Anere.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of parliament, Jeffrey Nape, has been charged with bribery after allegedly trying to pay an opposing candidate to withdraw his nomination.