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PNG Election Updates: NCD candidates petition authorities

Several candidates contesting the NCD Regional Seat have expressed concern over the arrangements of the Regional counting to be done away from those from the Open seats.

NCD Regional candidate Jamie Maxtone Graham said, the decision to count the Regional ballot boxes together with those from the Moresby North West electorate at the Rita Flynn Courts is suspicious and open to foul play.

Mr. Graham said, all primary counts should be done at the respective Open Seat Counting venues because they need to be verified and reconciled by the Presiding Officers before the boxes are opened.

He said, if the ballot boxes are counted in a different venue without the supervision of their Presiding Officers, people can introduce an extra ballot box, which was never part of the polling team's initial number of boxes, and results can be manipulated to favour certain candidates.

Meantime, Regional candidates in the NCD have signed three petitions and presented them to respective authorities this afternoon.

The first petition was presented to the NCD and Central Police Commander, Sylvester Kalaut, to ensure the Gerehu and NCD Police Reserve Units are not engaged during counting, but to engage officers from the Australian Federal Police instead.

The second petition to Police Commissioner Gary Baki, is to have NCD Metropolitan Commander Ben Turi, sidelined, alleging that his actions of yesterday have shown that he is compromised with certain candidates.

The candidates also allege that Mr. Turi had ordered his officers to fire shots into the air to chase away scrutineers and candidates, and also arming himself with a pistol and bush knife and threatening people.

Attempt to meet with NCD Election Manager Alwin Jimmy were unsuccessful, thus the candidates hand delivered the petition to Electoral Commissioner Patalias Gamato.

They are calling on him to install Closed Circuit TV cameras in all counting venues, use electronic and not manual counting, and conduct counting only during the day time, due to the frequent blackouts in the city.

Both Gamato and Commissioner Baki accepted the petition and said they will give their response by tomorrow afternoon.

NBC News/PNG Today  NBC Photos. 
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