21 Jun 2012

PNG police say preparations for elections in Highlands region going well

4:38 am on 21 June 2012

Police in Papua New Guinea say preparations for the general election in the Highlands region have gone well.

Most of the Highlands provinces will go to the polls in the first week of the country's two-week polling schedule which begins on Saturday.

Johnny Blades reports from PNG

"The Highlands Police Commander Teddy Tei says all ballot boxes required for the seven Highlands provinces are on the ground ready to be airlifted to polling stations. Australian helicopters will help with this task. First up for the polling process are Southern Highlands and the newly created Hela province, both pinpointed by the police as high risk areas. Hundreds of PNG police and defence force personnel are in these provinces to provide security around the election, with both New Zealand and Australian military supplying logistical support. The Commissioner says the security preparedness is as good as it can be. Local media says police have reported 22 deaths in the Highlands over the four-week campaign period to date."