19 Jun 2012

PNG's Trawen calls on candidates to stop supporters from fighting

6:18 am on 19 June 2012

Papua New Guinea's Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen has called on election candidates to stop their supporters from fighting with supporters of rival candidates.

In the last few weeks, there have been two campaign-related killings and a number of shootings involving supporters of rival candidates in the Highlands.

The bulk of PNG's security forces have been deployed to the Highlands well ahead of the two week polling period beginning Saturday.

Police have voiced concern about the arms buildup in the region and Mr Trawen says they are doing their best to stem the fighting.

"We did a lot of campaigning, trying to discourage people from taking up arms and accusing each other of everything on their party platforms and so forth. But unfortunately it happened and I'd like to appeal to candidates out there to control their supporters and discourage them from fighting amongst themselves."