Candidate produces photos of children voting
Source: The National, Tuesday July 24th, 2012
A CANDIDATE has produced photographic evidence which showed under-aged children allegedly voting in a remote location in West Sepik province.
Leader of the Indigenous People’s Party and a West Sepik regional candidate John Tekwie had brought the matter to the attention of Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen in a letter last Friday.
Claiming to write on behalf of other disgruntled regional candidates, Tekwie alleged serious fraud, child abuse, vote rigging, under-aged voting and corruption.
“To justify and support my claim, I attach full undisputable evidence of hard photographic images clearly confirming these allegations.
“These hooligans have forced and allowed innocent young children to commit the crime of under-age voting, double voting which is tantamount to abuse of minors (and) causing a blatant total disrespect for the laws of the nation,” Tekwie said in his letter.
Aware of the position of the Supreme Court to refer all interim election-related injunctions to the court of disputed returns, Tekwie had sought administrative directions from the PNGEC to stop counting.
It would appear that due to the late deployment of security personnel, voting in the Oksapmin area, where the alleged discrepancies occurred, started on June 23 and were completed before the arrival of security personnel on June 28.
This created an atmosphere which encouraged dishonesty and fraudulent behaviour, Tekwie said.
He further alleged that in many of the province’s 21 wards, there were too many underage children of between seven and 12 voting.
“My chief commissioner, this is horrendous and a crime which must not go unpunished.
“I now call on you to act swiftly as your officers, of the Electoral Commission polling team, have involved themselves and have gravely compromised the integrity of the commission.”
Tekwie also alleged double voting, difference in the numbering sequences of seals of ballot boxes and decisions to allow counting even when clear proof exists that there might be discrepancies in ballot boxes.
A total six boxes from 67 to 72 had been disputed. Of the 9,730 votes cast in these boxes, one candidate collected 7,000 votes.
This is a plot to disqualify Amkat from being duly elected as the Governor for Sandaun. Tekwie's supporters took these photos in one of the stronghold of Tekwie in lower Oksapmin. Tekwie and his supporters can prove their claim in the court of disputed returns.