9 Jul 2012

PNG returning officer stood down over ballot burnings

5:16 am on 9 July 2012

The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commissioner has told a returning officer to stand down, after confirming the burning of two ballot boxes last night.

Andrew Trawen says he was informed that two ballot boxes were burnt by the Returning Officer for Moresby North West.

He says the officer, Joseph Fragih, was issued a letter ordering him to step down immediately.

Mr Trawen says scrutineers disputed 2 ballot boxes and demanded they be destroyed.

He says there are procedures to follow when disputes occur during counting and burning ballot boxes at the behest of scrutineers is not one of them.