27 Aug 2009

PNG gears up for Kandep by-election

4:03 pm on 27 August 2009

The by-election for the Kandep Open electorate in Papua New Guinea's Enga Province is to begin in two weeks with polling on November 9th.

The by-election comes after a former Cabinet Minister Don Polye was forced out of parliament because of a successful electoral petition by another candidate in the 2007 general election.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen as saying it will cost authorities 1.6 million US dollars to organise the vote.

Mr Trawen says most of the funds will be used to airlift polling teams and ballot boxes to 74 polling places throughout the electorate to prevent a repeat of hijackings, stealing and burning of ballot boxes and papers as claimed had happened in 2007.

He says the National Court had questioned the actions of many electoral officers who should have acted independently representing the Commission to discharge their duties imposed by the constitutional law.

Meanwhile, the paper reports Mr Polye has rejected the advice of his lawyers that he shouold appeal the court decision and he's decided to contest the by-election to prove his victory was genuine.