Voters in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, go to the polls today in the national election which began in a volatile part of the Highlands at the weekend. Two of the most recognisable names in PNG politics are not on the ballot papers in the electorates they’ve held for many years: Australian born Dame Carol Kidu and former PNG Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, who are both retiring this year. The head of the Commonwealth election observer group in Papua New Guinea says election-related problems could lead to voter frustration. There have been reports of delays in opening polling stations, ballot boxes being destroyed and others being hijacked and stuffed with completed ballot papers.
Vanuatu’s former Prime Minister, Edward Natapei who heads the observer group, says his eight-strong group, which is located in the coastal areas and highlands, has not seen any violence. However, he says while people are patient at the moment, it may not last. “That could cause some problems, but at this stage we seem to observe that some people have been patient enough to wait their turn to vote. “They have turned up in numbers, not necessarily queue up, but gathering at the entrance into the polling stations to vote,” he said.
Full Article: Port Moresby voters head to the polls | ABC Radio Australia.