Allegations of unfairness over vote count in PNG's Kandep

8:02 pm on 18 July 2017

There's a groundswell of concern in Papua New Guinea's Kandep electorate about ballot boxes yet to be counted for votes in the national election.

Supporters of the opposition leader and incumbent Kandep MP, Don Polye, as well as 13 other candidates for the seat have been staging a peaceful demonstration in Wabag Town.

Peaceful demonstration in Wabag town over election allegations in Kandep district, Papua New Guinea

Peaceful demonstration in Wabag town over election allegations in Kandep district, Papua New Guinea Photo: Supplied

They allege that two assistant polling officials for Kinduli and Kanyan were kidnapped so that they are absent from presenting their reports respectively to clear the ballot boxes for counting.

These two are reportedly servicing areas which are among Mr Polye's support strongholds, boxes from which are amongst the remaining 21 to yet to be counted.

Mr Polye, who is the leader of the Triumph heritage Empowerment party, is trailing Alfred Manase of the ruling People's National Congress in the vote count.

However counting in this Highlands electorate was suspended today when counting officials went on strike due to non-payment of their allowances.

The group of frustrated candidates is demanding answers from the local elections management as to why 21 boxes have been shelved.

The allegation is that the Returning Officer Ben Besawe has selectively counted ballot boxes from areas where Mr Manase scored block votes.

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