27 Nov 2009

PNG Electoral Commissioner hoping for strong police presence for by-election vote count

11:50 am on 27 November 2009

Papua New Guinea's Electoral Commissioner says he'll speak to Eastern Highlands provincial leaders when voting in the Kandep by-election finishes today.

Polling officials were this week ordered to return to the Enga Province electorate to hold a second poll in three areas where last week's voting was abandoned due to violence.

Andrew Trawen says to avoid further trouble he's transferred vote counting to Goroka in the Eastern Highlands and expects that process to begin over the weekend.

It's a move that's been highly criticised by the leaders of that province but Mr Trawen says he wasn't obliged to consult them before making the decision.

"As long the police can provide security the guarantee will be there, that there'll be no problem. The provincial leaders have gone to the media but I just keep quiet and as soon as I'm satisfied that the teams have moved into Kandep to finish the voting in those three areas then I'll talk to the leaders in the Eastern Highlands."

Andrew Trawen, Papua New Guinea's Electoral Commissioner.