26 Jun 2007

PNG's police commissioner appeals to his officers to stand against bribes

6:56 am on 26 June 2007

Papua New Guinea's police commissioner has appealed to the country's security forces to stand firm against bribes and threats during national elections starting on Saturday.

Gari Baki told officers that candidates and their supporters would try to influence them.

He said there have been instances in the past where he has heard of candidates bribing entire polling and security officials to allow them to have things done their way.

Mr Baki make no mistake, he said, you will be approached, you will be offered money, you may even be threatened.

But he told officers that no amount of money could buy back their dignity and self-respect if they accepted bribes.

About 11,000 officers of the disciplined forces will provide security during the 10-day voting period from Saturday, particularly focusing on the Highlands region where widespread violence and vote rigging marred the 2002 election.

Some 2,740 candidates are contesting 109 seats in PNG's parliament following a record five-year term by Prime Minister Michael Somare.