5 Jun 2002

Candidates threaten to pull out of PNG election unless their concerns are addressed

3:34 pm on 5 June 2002

Sixteen candidates in the Southern Highlands have threatened to boycott the Papua New Guinea elections if lawlessness and allegations of tampering with the election process are not addressed.

The candidates of the Koroba Lake-Kopiago electorate have written a letter to the Electoral Commission recommending a number of actions, including a call for soldiers to be deployed in Southern Highlands to maintain law and order.

The Post Courier newspaper says copies of the letter were also sent to the Ombudsman Commission and police, requesting investigations into an alleged theft of electoral enrolment forms by supporters of a sitting MP.

The candidates said they would ask their supporters to boycott polling if the issues raised were not looked into.

The letter also said the Electoral Commission must address an alleged conspiracy in the recent appointments of returning officers in the province.