PNG police HQ to assist provinces with elections hotspots

7:20 pm on 20 March 2017

Papua New Guinea's police commissioner says provincial and divisional police commanders won't be left unassisted if unrest flares during the elections.

Crowd at an election rally in East Sepik, Papua New Guinea.

Crowd at an election rally in East Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Gary Baki has summoned all divisional commanders to Port Moresby this week for a final planning meeting ahead of PNG's upcoming general elections in late June.

The Commissioner recently announced that, unlike in previous polls, policing these elections in each province will be managed by provincial and divisional commanders, rather than from Moresby.

PNG Party rally during the 2012 Papua New Guinea election campaign.

PNG Party rally during the 2012 Papua New Guinea election campaign. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

He said the local police units will have additional support from HQ in managing potential hotspots during the elections.

"When there are issues beyond the control of the Electoral Commission then we will have to decide what is the best approach to deal with the situation. It's going to be challenging, but the issue is this, we are not leaving our divisional and provincial police commanders on their own. There will be a response unit posted to hotspots where we consider likely issues of trouble to occur," Gary Baki said.