Papuans in 15 electoral districts of Dutch New Guinea went to the polls, Jan 9/10, in the primary stage of the election of the territory's first representative body, the New Guinea Council.
TGV Village of Kaju Pulu
LV Church and temporary polling hut
SV Chairman of the Election Committee writes names of candidates on black board
SIDE V..members of Election Committee watch
RV Papuans walk to church
SCU Portrait of Dutch Royal couple
SV Papuan flute and drum band
SV TOWARDS..acting resident (left) and district officer arrive
SV PAN..crowd outside polling station
SV Chairman of Election Committee calls the first voter
SV Man enters
SV Man whispers into chairman's ear
SV Woman enters
SV Woman leans over to chairman
SCU Another woman enters
SV Whispers and turns
SV Another woman whispers
SV PAN..Election officers count votes
SV Results are written on black board
SV Papuans watch
SV Papuans applaud
SV Three of the five winning candidates are congratulated by District officer
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Background: Papuans in 15 electoral districts of Dutch New Guinea went to the polls, Jan 9/10, in the primary stage of the election of the territory's first representative body, the New Guinea Council. Expected to begin work in march or April, the council will have a say in legislation and policy.
At the small coastal village of Kaju Pulu, in the Hollandia district, polling began on Jan 9. men and women trooped to a temporary polling station outside the village church to record their vote - for the first time in their lives. There were no voting slips. Guarding against mishaps in procedure due to illiteracy, the authorities had approved a method whereby voters first heard the names of candidates read out to them and then whispered their choice into the ear of an official.
Out of some 600 inhabitants, 258 Papuans at Kaju Pulu were qualified to vote in this indirect election. Nearly 60% - reported to be the average throughout the territory - made use of their right and chose a number of electors who will later, together with electors nominated in other districts, name the members of the Dutch New Guinea Council. In some districts, direct elections to the council will be held. Eventually, there will be a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 48 members on the council.