6 Jul 2002

Police under attack over PNG election fiasco

9:19 am on 6 July 2002

The Western Highlands governor Father Robert Lak, has called on the Police Commissioner Joe Kupo to resign over allegations that the police are taking sides in the Papua New Guinea elections.

The Post Courier newspaper earlier this week reported claims that police had taken sides in Enga, after its helicopter was ordered to Southern Highlands before distributing ballot papers to all parts of Enga.

Fr Lak has also called for the resignation of Western Highlands police commander, Allan Kundi.

He says the police hierarchy's lack of organisation had also resulted in the many deaths in the Highlands.

And police in Chimbu are threatening to withdraw security during counting because they say the Electoral Commission is not paying them enough.

Police have been paid just over 14-thousand US dollars, which they say it not enough.

Meanwhile the Defence Force Commander, Brigadier-General Peter Ilau, says he will publish the names of the 15 renegade soldiers operating in the Highands unless they stop their illegal activities.

He has given the group a week to stop taking part in electoral matters.

And results from polling show that a second Cabinet Minister, the Minister for Social Welfare, William Ebenosi has lost his seat, while the Planning and Adminstration minister, Andrew Kumbakor has retained his.

Sir Rabbie Namaliu, who retained his Kokopo seat has been told his victory will be challenged.

The Post Courier says unsuccessful candidates, who it does not name, have made allegations of foul play and abuse of due process in the poll.

16 of the 109 seats have been declared, with the National Alliance of Sir Michael Somare and the People's Democratic Movement, led by Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta, both with four.

No other party has more than one seat.