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Kua wants PNG Electoral Commission to rescind decision on Simbu Regional Recount venue

Sinasina-Yongomugl MP, Kerenga Kua is urging the Electoral Commissioner to overturn his earlier decision to host a recount of votes of the Simbu Regional Seat in Lae, Morobe Province.

In a statement late this afternoon, Mr Kua says a change of the recount venue outside Lae, would ensure the risk of violence, disruption to businesses and damage to properties and loss of lives in Kundiawa Town and the entire province is avoided.
Late last year the court had ordered the recount into the Simbu Regional Seat, leaving the Electoral Commissioner to decide on a venue which he has, but which has not gone done well with many people in the province.

Mr Kua says Lae is too far from Simbu and would be expensive for the 61 candidates to follow through the process.

He says the Electoral Commissioner should be flexible with his choice of venue, which could easily be Minj or Banz in Jiwaka Province, or Goroka in Eastern Highlands, given their close proximity to Simbu.

The Electoral Commissioner's decision has sparked an escalation of violence and law and order problems in Kundiawa Town almost bringing it to a standstill.

It has now become difficult for people to come into town to obtain goods and services as they routinely do.

Supporters of candidates have barricaded the police station were the ballot boxes are presently stored and have prevented Electoral Commission officials from removing them to Lae for the recount.

Mr Kua says lives and properties are at risk on a daily basis as pockets of violence flare out around town.

He says this must be stopped and it is never too late for the Electoral Commissioner to rescind his decision, to ensure violence, lawlessness and destruction to lives and properties and businesses is avoided.

NBC News

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