9 Jul 2012

Last PNG province to vote expected to start polling by Thursday

8:58 pm on 9 July 2012

Papua New Guinea's Electoral Commission has confirmed it's advised the Governor-General to extend polling for the general election into this week in seven provinces.

These provinces are Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, Gulf, Western, Milne Bay, Madang and Bougainville.

The newspaper, The National, reports that the Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, says the last of the provinces to start polling, Eastern Highlands, should begin on Wednesday or Thursday.

Mr Trawen says polling has been extended under provisions in the Organic Law on Elections upon the existence of special circumstances, in this case bad weather conditions, remoteness and logistics.

The Electoral Commission says the outer islands of the Bougainville will complete polling by Thursday.

Meanwhile, it's emerged that the speaker of parliament, Jeffrey Nape, has been charged with bribery after allegedly trying to pay an opposing candidate to withdraw his nomination.

Provincial Police say Mr Nape was arrested on Saturday and is expected to appear in court after the elections.