Manasupe: no grounds for elections to be "failed"

20/08/2013 09:30


Andrew Trawen under fire on failed polls.



AT the request of the Prime Minister, Chief Secretary to Government Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc convened a meeting today to discuss the situation in Western Highland province, where the failing of LLG elections prompted a law and order situation which brought Mt Hagen city to a standstill.
Sir Manasupe met with the Elections Steering Committee, the Provincial Administrator of Western Highlands, and the Election Manager of the province.
Upon examination of all the facts presented before him, Sir Manasupe formed the view that there appears no ground for the Electoral Commissioner to reach the decision to fail the elections in the Western Highlands province.
For example, by August 15, when the Electoral Commissioner announced his decision, 27 ward members of a possible 40 in the Hagen Rural LLG had been declared elected. Counting was in progress for the rest, including the LLG president seats.
“I have this afternoon conveyed the position of the national government to the electoral commissioner, and asked him to reconsider his decision,” Sir Manasupe said in a media statement.
Speculations by the media that a state of emergency was declared in Mt Hagen today were not true.
Sir Manasupe said the government was concerned about the unruly behavior of certain groups and individuals that disrupted normalcy in Mt Hagen today.
“It is alarming that people should resort to behaviors like this. There are proper and lawful avenues to resolve disputes, including election disputes.”