11 Jul 2012

PNG Electoral Commission under fire over early results in PNC strongholds

1:59 pm on 11 July 2012

The People's National Congress party of Papua New Guinea's caretaker Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has secured victory in the first two confirmed election results.

While Mr O'Neill's landslide victory in his Ialibu-Pangia seat was widely expected, the Electoral Commission is facing criticism over early commencement of counting in seats which favour the PNC.

Johnny Blades reports

"The People's National Congress candidate Charlie Benjamin has been declared winner of Manus Regional seat. It follows last week's declaration of Peter O'Neill's win which came through well before several provinces had even started polling. Polling is still not complete in some regions. The Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, earlier said counting is being conducted according to electoral rules. But the National Alliance leader Sir Michael Somare has accused the Commission of bias by prematurely counting in PNC strongholds and allowing delays to counting in others."