VOTING in Enga province begins today but candidates contesting the Kandep seat have threatened to stop it if the returning officer is not replaced.
Kandep open seat candidate Alfred Manase had called for the immediate removal of the district returning officer.
He said the candidates had petitioned the Electoral Commission on June 15, giving it a seven-day notice to remove the returning officer.
The candidates alleged that the returning officer was a “close friend and associate” of MP Don Polye.
He said there would not be any voting for Kandep until the returning officer was replaced.
However, security forces and election officers will be on the lookout for any disruptions to polling to ensure it was conducted peacefully.
Voting scheduled for yesterday was postponed to today because of the late arrival of security forces to the province.
The delay began after the one day polling scheduled for each highlands province was extended in Southern Highlands and Hela from Saturday to Sunday, and parts of Hela to Monday.
Polling was slowed because of the delay in deploying security personnel and election officials to remote parts of the provinces due to bad weather.
Security forces began moving to Enga yesterday, with a few leaving this morning.
The Enga bus stop in Mt Hagen was packed with commuters trying to catch a ride back to their province so they could vote.
Many were stranded because there were not enough buses as most had been hired by the Electoral Commission.
Rural and urban settlers living in Western Highlands province were seen travelling to Enga on vehicles chartered by candidates who wanted them to vote for them