Election re-count underway in PNG's Kandep

4:13 pm on 22 September 2016
Ballot box in a Vanuatu election.

A PNG court has ordered a total re-count of votes in the 2012 election in Kandep Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The re-count is today underway of the 2012 election in Papua New Guinea's Kandep district, where the opposition leader Don Polye is the incumbent MP.

Immediately after the election, the runner-up Alfred Manase launched a petition and, following a stalled trial and a series of appeals, the Supreme Court ordered a total re-count.

Mr Manase claimed that in 2012 the election process was unfair because of Mr Polye's influence over the former Electoral Commissioner and the local returning officer.

"Now we think there will be some fair play. When you have people who are so compromised.. they have gone. So we are expecting fair play. The new guy should bring in new ideas and new blood into the system. And so the recount will show who actually won. If he (Polye) wins again, fine, but at least the process will have been completed properly."

Alfred Manase denied that the recount was wasteful, coming less than a year before the next general elections, saying that he didin't control the court or the speed of the process

Mr Polye had filed a last minute Slip Rule Application against the ordering of the recount but it would not affect the start of counting.

The Chief Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato told local media the re-count of Kandep Open seat was delayed because they could not secure a venue until recently.

The re-count is taking place at a school in Enga's provincial capital, Wabag.

Meanwhile, Enga provincial police have deployed extra personnel to ensure security around the recount.