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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Elelction distress in the Samarai Murua by-election




Polling Team 15 for Iwa No.6 in the Murua LLG for Samarai- Murua Open electorate has been missing since Thursday this week while they were travelling by boat to Iwa to wind up their polling.
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed today that he has recieved election distress report from the Returning Officer for Samarai-Murua Dadu Daga at 11:39am, Saturday 7th May 2016.
"Polling Team 15 was supposed to return to Guasopa Government Station on Thursday but did not arrive until this morning."
"They are still missing and cannot be located. The reason for their missing is not established yet but police in Miline Bay have been notified," he said.
Mr Gamato said the team after polling at Kwaiwata was heading to Iwa to do their last polling on Thursday before returning to Guasopa Government Station but did not arrive.
He said after learning the team did not arrive, the Assistant Returning Officer for Murua LLG Peter Tomoa alerted the Election Manager who's the Returning Officer Dadu Daga in Alotau yesterday morning.
Commissioner Gamato said Dadu then relayed the message to Acting Provincial Administrator Michael Kape, Provincial Police Commander Joseph Morehari and the Provincial Disaster Services in Alotau.
"There were seven people who include five polling officials, one policeman and the skipper of the 23 foot dinghy powered by a 40 horse outboard motor," he said.
He said the Assistant Returning Officer, Peter Tomoa called yesterday morning from Aiun Island, which is the only island that has mobile phone coverage, to report the situation to the Returning Officer, Acting Provincial Administrator and PPC.
"Acting Provincial Administrator Michael Kape has requested assistance has requested assistance for search by Manalos Helicopter and I have approved the search for initial two days. The first helicopter with the search team departed about 1:48am yesterday,"Gamato said.
The Electoral Commission said he has been contacting the Office of the National Disaster and Emergency Services but there has been no response.
Mr Gamato is now requesting assistance from the National Disaster and Emergency Service to engage in the search and rescue operation immediately.
And he is appealing to anyone who has sighted the team or has some information on the team's whereabouts to urgently contact ARO for Murua LLG Peter Tomoa on 7927-0741.
Meanwhile, there are 24 polling teams for the Samarai-Murua by-election and they are as follows:
Lousiade 6 teams, Yeleyamba LLG, 6 teams, Murua LLG, 5 teams and Bwanbwana LLG, 7 teams.
All polling was completed on Thursday 5 May and counting expected to begin on Tuesday 10 May 2016.

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 2:39 AM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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