PNG police encourage end of Hagen airport blockade

10:33 am on 27 July 2017

Papua New Guinea police are appealing to a group blockading the main Highlands airport to think of the public good and end its protest action.

Protestors are calling on the Electoral Commission to review what they say is an illegal early declaration of William Duma as MP in the Western Highlands capital of Mt Hagen, due to dozens of ballot boxes not being counted.

They have sparked fighting and disorder which forced businesses to close and disrupted air travel in and out of Hagen's airport.

According to PNG's police commissioner Gary Baki said it was too late for the boxes to be counted.

But he said he would prefer not to use force to end the airport blockade.

"Our police in Mt Hagen are talking to the people to try and appreciate the fact that the electoral process has nothing to do with the operations of the airport in Mt Hagen," he said.

"There's a lot of inconvenience to the travelling public, and the candidates are told to take some responsibility."

PNG police on patrol

PNG police on patrol Photo: AFP