PAPUA NEW GUINEA ELECTION: DECLARED ENGAN WINNERS IN LIMBO

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 31, 2002 – Post-Courier)---Six Engan candidates want the Electoral Commission to endorse their declarations and return them as MPs.

But the commission has not made any decision on the fate of the elections in Enga and Southern Highlands.

Election boss Reuben Kaiulo said he and his lawyers were still studying the ruling of the National Court and he would not listen to anyone regarding making a decision in the meantime.

Yesterday the six candidates — including Peoples Democratic Movement recruit and former Governor Peter Ipatas, another PDM, Sam Abal, independents Dickson Maki (Kompiam-Ambun) and Kappa Yarka (Lagaip-Porgera), and Peoples Labour Party man Miki Kaeok (Wapenamanda) — went to the commission office in a hope to get the commission to endorse them.

They claimed to have been declared on July 28 and had tried their best to return the Writs to the commission but the commission could not be reached.

Mr. Ipatas said the commission had no choice but to endorse the declarations made last Sunday and have them returned as MPs.

Despite difficulties faced by the commission, he said he was happy that the election had been finally concluded.

"People of Enga, especially the students, can now go back to school and catch up with the studies," Mr. Ipatas said. "Elections in Enga have not failed as speculated by the media. Candidates tried to hijack the electoral process but it has backfired on these candidates."

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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