William Duma’s declaration triggers protests in Mt. Hagen

Electoral Commission given 48 hours to respond to allegations of collusion

Services   businesses in Mt. Hagen City have been at a standstill since Saturday   following tensions triggered by the declaration of sitting MP, William Duma.

Shops have been advised to close while all flights into Mt. Hagen’s Kagamuga airport have been put on hold until further notice.

Hagen 2

This morning protestors took to the streets calling on the electoral commission to come clear on what they allege as the illegal early declaration of William Duma.

The candidates say Returning Officer,  Paul Goima made an early declaration before the absolute majority was reached.

It is also understood that 28 sealed ballot boxes remained uncounted when the declaration was made and no clear explanation was given to scrutineers and candidates.

One of candidates, Luke Lukcee, said they have also filed a complaint with the Electoral Commission to reject the Hagen Open Writ if it is presented in Port Moresby.

The protesters presented a petition to the Provincial Election Manger giving the Commission, 48 hours to respond to their concerns.

Protesters include candidates for the Hagen open seat who claim declaration is unjust and has deprived them of fair contest in the elections.

Tensions have remained high since Sunday with reports of clashes between supporters of rival candidates.

The unrest in Hagen,   began a day after the fatal shooting of two police mobile squad members in Wabag.  Police Commissioner Gari Baki was in Wabag on Sunday. On Monday he traveled into Hagen for various briefings with troops on the ground.


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