EYEWITNESSES REPORT THAT history has repeated itself in the southern highlands elections in the new Hela Province, getting Papua New Guinea’s national election off to a very bad start.
Ballot boxes and voting papers have been hijacked, destroyed or signed by candidates and supporters, who have been filling them out at will.
Security personnel are too thin on the ground, fearful for their own safety and obviously useless.
The new province will now be under the control of crooks and thugs, not properly elected leaders.
This is a disaster for the people of Hela. They must take responsibility for what happened but it is a very sad day for Hela.
The Hela poll must now be declared a failed election and the province prepared for proper by-elections later in the year.
How many other highlands provinces will also be like this? This is the failed 2002 national elections all over again?
People did not vote in Hela and certain candidates and the PNG Electoral Commission must be help responsible for the poor planning and conduct of the election operations.