• Short Summary

    POLLING IS STILL GOING ON IN PAPUA'S (AUSTRALIAN NEW GUINEA) FIRST ELECTION. BOTH AUSTRALIANS AND?

  • Description

    POLLING IS STILL GOING ON IN PAPUA'S (AUSTRALIAN NEW GUINEA) FIRST ELECTION. BOTH AUSTRALIANS AND PAPUANS ARE VOTING SHOULDER TO SHOULDER, AND THE RESPONSE SO FAR HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS "AMAZING". INTEREST IN THE CHOICE OF MEMBERS FOR THE NEW 64-SEAT HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY HAS BEEN HIGH THROUGHOUT THE TERRITORY.

    VOTING CONTINUES UNTIL MARCH 18, AND IN SOME AREAS CAMPAIGNING IS STILL IN FULL SWING. A TYPICAL CAMPAIGN IS THAT IN THE KAINANTU ELECTORATE IN THE RUGGED EASTERN HIGHLANDS.

    THERE ARE FIVE CANDIDATES: BARRY HOLLOWAY, AN AUSTRALIAN, ONO AIA, LEADER OF THE LOCAL COUNCIL, MONKI KAOTI, A TRADE STORE OWNER, TOUKE MAREKA, AN INTERPRETER WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF NATIVE AFFAIRS, AND ANOTHER LOCAL MAN, WHO WAS AWAY AT THE TIME OF OUR FILM TEAM'S VISIT.

    A BREAK IN THE CAMPAIGNING CAME FOR CEREMONY OF SEALING THE BALLOT BOXES. KAINANTU WILL BE ONE OF THE MOST KEENLY-CONTESTED ELECTORATES. POLLING WILL LAST THREE WEEKS.

    IN AN ELECTION WHERE THE MAJORITY VOTE BY IDENTIFYING A PHOTOGRAPH OF THEIR PREFERRED CANDIDATE, THE SO-CALLED "SHOWING-THE -FACE" TOURS ARE OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE.

    ONO AIA, LIKE THE OTHERS, HAS MADE AN EXTENSIVE TOUR OF THE ELECTORATE, MEETING AND TALKING WITH AS MANY OF THE 25,000 VOTES AS POSSIBLE.

    ALTHOUGH HE LIVES JUST OVER THE HILL FROM ONO, MONKI KAOTI HAS HAD MUCH LESS EXPERIENCE OF MODERN LIFE. HIS VILLAGE URGED HIM TO STAND BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT ONO TO GET IN. AN AGE-OLD RIVALRY STILL EXISTS BETWEEN THE TWO VILLAGES.

    A PORTER-TEAM ACCOMPANIES BARRY HOLLOWAY'S TOUR OF THE ELECTORATE. HE HAS WALKED MORE THAN 450 MILES (720 KMS) FROM VILLAGE TO VILLAGE ACROSS TWO-LOG BRIDGES AND THROUGH OOZING MUD. HE KNOWS THE DISTRICT WELL, FOR HE WAS A PATROL OFFICER HERE FOR MANY YEARS BEFORE RESIGNING TO CONTEST THE ELECTION.

    NEVER BEFORE HAVE THE PAPUANS' FAVOURS BEEN WOOED BY A EUROPEAN IN THIS FASHION. FOR HOURS THEY LISTEN TO THE "TALL MAN WITH RED HAIR".

    HOLLOWAY SPEAKS PIDGIN ENGLISH, BUT NONE OF THE TEN LANGUAGES OF KAINANTU. HE OVERCOMES THIS PROBLEM BY PLACING STICKS IN THE GROUND REPRESENTING EACH CANDIDATE, THE TALLEST BEING HIM.

    POINTING TO HIS STICK, HE TELLS THEM THAT IF THEY VOTE FOR HIM HE WILL GO TO THE "BIG HOUSE" (PARLIAMENT) TO SPEAK FOR THEM. HERE THEN IS ONE OF THE ELECTION'S MOST INTERESTING PROBLEMS: WHETHER PAPUANS WILL FOLLOW TRIBAL LOYALTIES AND VOTE FOR CANDIDATES OF THEIR OWN RACE, OR WHETHER THEY WILL CHOOSE MORE EXPERIENCED EUROPEANS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7H8PGAMQUZJGY9KVW9N9EPCHQ
    Media URN:
    VLVA7H8PGAMQUZJGY9KVW9N9EPCHQ
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    23/02/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:35:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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