Aspiring PNG politicians called on to step up after violence

9:36 am on 8 August 2017

The police commissioner in Papua New Guinea says fighting is not the solution for election-related disputes.

PNG Police Commissioner, Gary Baki.

PNG Police Commissioner, Gary Baki. Photo: EMTV

Gary Baki said he is appealing to the Southern Highlands Regional candidates William Powi and Joseph Kobol to stop the death and destruction that is currently taking place in Mendi.

Five people were killed over the weekend and Mendi remains in lockdown.

The clash was between armed supporters of Mr Powi, who is the incumbent MP, and the independent challenger, Mr Kobol.

Mr Baki said the leaders must take ownership of the situation and "actively contribute towards peace and normalcy".

Mr Baki said as a true test of their leadership qualities the two candidates must publicly condemn the killings and appeal to their people to stop any further destruction.

He said there were peaceful and legal avenues aggrieved candidates and their supporters could pursue.

Mr Baki said leaders who remain silent were encouraging violence.

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