Papua New Guinea’s prime minister cites ‘extraordinary circumstances’ for election results delay

Jul 30, 2022. Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape has conceded an extension to the date for the return of election results could face legal challenges after a general election marred by violence and corruption claims.

Voting concluded on July 22 in the Pacific island nation’s election, which was blighted by reports of dozens killed, thousands forced to flee homes, and allegations of ballot tampering, despite major police efforts to stop violence.

In the wake of the turmoil, the government on Friday announced an extension to the return of writs – a procedural step to declare successful candidates – so vote counting could continue in electorates where results remained unclear.

The original July 29 date for the return of writs was initially pushed out to August 12, according to local media, before being revised to August 5.

Marape told ABC television the decision to postpone could be challenged in court, but defended the move saying there were “extraordinary circumstances” leading up to it. (Reuters)