29 Apr 2002

PNG's Electoral Commissioner warns that tribal ties must not influence the elections

3:10 pm on 29 April 2002

PNG's Electoral Commissioner, Reuben Kaiulo, has warned that tribal and family ties must not be allowed to influence or interfere with the elections in June.

He says election workers and the police must always guard against such influence.

Mr Kaiulo says the oaths and statements of loyalty made by police, prison officers and elections workers must be followed as a guide for honest, fair and professional work.

The Electoral Commisoner was asked to remain in Port Moresby at the end of last week to make sure that Defence Force troops would not be used in election security operations.

After taking legal advice, Mr Kaiulo used the independent authority of the Electoral Commission to ask the Police Commissioner to keep troops out of the election process.

There were widespread reports in PNG over the weekend that some politicians planned to use troops to interfere in the polls.