16 Jul 2012

Round the clock vote counting underway in Papua New Guinea

3:31 pm on 16 July 2012

Papua New Guinea's Electoral Commission is conducting round-the-clock shifts for counting officials in order to get vote counting for the general election complete by the end of next week.

Three weeks of polling to choose a new 111-member parliament concluded at the weekend.

However our correspondent Titi Gabi says counting is progressing slowly in many electorates as electoral officials struggle to get counting completed by the date scheduled for the return of writs.

"The counting period should end on the 26th (July) thereabouts so what the Electoral Commission is trying to do now is make sure we meet that schedule, we meet that deadline. So what's going to happen in the Highlands, as of yesterday, is that they're going to be working 24-7, they're going to work the counting on shifts. It's going to be challenging but we have to meet that deadline."

Titi Gabi says counting in Chimbu and Eastern Highlands only just got underway today, with counting officials being trained at the last minute.