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Papua New Guinea votes for national election

Port Moresby: Voters thronged polling stations on Monday to cast their votes for the national election in Papua New Guinea, a Pacific island nation.

The country reportedly has a history of corruption and election-related killings. Millions of people live here in poverty despite vast mineral and energy riches.

For weeks, thousands of people have been dressing up and gathering at campaign rallies, but the country's new government will not be known until August, ABC news reported

As per reports, a total of 3,625 people have been nominated to compete for the 118 seats in parliament.
Papua New Guinea at present has 111 MPs, but seven new districts were created just weeks before the start of the election period, ABC news has reported.

Three candidates are facing exclusion from the election because of criminal convictions, following a Supreme Court ruling on eligibility this year.

One candidate was convicted of murder, another of rape and a third of conspiracy to defraud, according to ABC news.

The Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai has said that he wants to try to complete voting in two weeks because such a limited time frame has been set before the results legally have to be handed up, on July 29.

The final voting schedule was not released until Friday -- just 72 hours ahead of polling starting, and voting in the capital city, Port Moresby, has been pushed back from today until Wednesday.

"We are trying our best to do as much as we can, with our available resources and time," Sinai said as quoted by ABC news.

Prime Minister James Marape's party is contesting more than 80 seats. (ANI)

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