25 Jun 2002

Security tight in Southern Highlands during election

4:39 pm on 25 June 2002

Polling in Southern Highlands province has been delayed until Thursday.

Voting was to happen on Tuesday but it was delayed to allow time for an extra 800 police to be sent to the province.

This follows election-related violence in the western highlands where 9 people were killed.

A spokesperson from the Southern Highlands Special Operations division says the atmosphere in the provincial capital, Mendi, is tense and it is expected that violence may occur after polling day when the results are announced.

"Right now people are going about there normal thing nobody's all yahooing, or anything like that, it's just very peaceful at this point in time, but it's tense....during the polling we don't expect anything to come up, until after the election, there will be tight security up there next week."

Voting in Chimbu Province which was to have begun last Thursday is still delayed with polling officials yet to arrive at polling stations.