New directions have been issued to the returning officer for the Lagaip Open Returning officer to commence counting in Wabag town today following recommendations by key stakeholders to the Electoral Commission.
In a letter to the Lagaip Open RO, Newman Waliyo, the Electoral Commissioner, Simon Sinai rescinded his previous order to move the counting venue to Goroka in Eastern Highlands Province and has now instructed Waliyo to start counting in Wabag town.
According to Sinai, upon citing reports and concerns over security issues regarding the safety of the ballot boxes, he has now come to the conclusion to allow counting to start in Wabag.
“My office has received reports from key agencies and stakeholders of Enga Province, including the leading Police Operations Command on the ground.”
“These reports raised concerns over security issues on the ground and their recommendation.”
“Given the serious concern raised by relevant authorities, based on the situation on the ground I rescind my previous two directives.”
In recent weeks the Electoral Commission has received backlash from the people of Lagaip following their discovery of the EC’s decision decision to move the counting venue, with many taking to the streets of Enga in protest of this decision.
Counting for the By-Election is said to commence today.