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Subject: Kandep polls a total failure, court is told


Author:
Chicko
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Date Posted: Fri, Jun 13 2008, 01:08:35pm

Kandep polls a total failure, court is told

By JAMES APA GUMUNO
THE election manager for Enga province, Henry Kyakas told the Mt Hagen National Court yesterday he had concluded in 2007 that the general elections the Kandep elctorate, Enga province, was a failure.
Mr Kyakas told the court he had recommended to the Electoral Commission that the writ for Kandep Open be withdrawn and the election be declared a failure because half the votes were being disputed by candidates.
He said although he did not visit Kandep to assess the situation , he based his recommendation on petitions he received from candidates.
Mr Kyakas said Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen noted his recommendation and sent a team to Wabag which also inlcuded a lawyer and senior officer Boki Raga.
He said this team reported back to Mr Trawen that counting should go ahead.
When counting started, votes were counted at a faster rate than the other electorates, Mr Kyakas said.
He said Kandep district returning officer Naipat Keae declaredDon Polye the winner without having to go throught the elimination process.
The court case is between petitioner Alfred Manase and Works, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister and Kandep MP Don Polye.
Mr Manase is seeking to nullify Mr Polye’s election.
Mr Polye won with a landslide margin and is serving his second term in Parliament.
Mr Manase is alleging that there was widespread illegal acts by Mr Polye’s supporters and election officials. The trial is entering its seventh week.
Mr Kyakas said votes in eight ballot boxes were not counted when the winner was declared.
He said Mr Keae had claimed that these were hijacked boxes which contained tainted votes.
The trial continues today.

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