31 Mar 2003

PNG's Electoral Commisssioner says steps being taken to prevent election trouble

5:51 am on 31 March 2003

Papua New Guinea's acting electoral commissioner says plans are in place to ensure there is no repeat of the violence that ruined elections held in the Southern Highlands last year.

Killings, vote rigging and the theft of ballot boxes meant votes for six out of the nine districts within the PNG province were declared void.

New elections are scheduled to be held in late April/early May.

The Acting Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, says counting will be done in the Southern Highlands capital, Mendi, to prevent any interference.

Ballot boxes will be flown in under armed escourt.

Last year, election officials were left unguarded travelling by road.

Election managers from other parts of the country will be running the polls to avoid any local pressure.