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PNG police hunting candidates who they say tried to derail election

Tuesday 2 August 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Papua New Guinea, Regional


PNG police hunting candidates who they say tried to derail election
David Manning Photo: EMTV

Papua New Guinea Police claim they are closing in on 15 candidates in Enga Province who allegedly used guns to threaten civilians in their attempt to derail the General Elections.

The Post Courier reports the Police Commissioner David Manning saying police have the candidates names and know where they are hiding and has called on them to surrender.

He says most are highly educated men and so it's hard to understand why they behaved the way they did.

The police say this group is suspected of instigating arson attacks, gun fights, attacks on police vehicles, and hijacking ballot boxes and papers.

Manning said the "situation in Enga Province is very serious and I have grave concerns for the lives of many innocent people there who have become victims of barbaric and animalistic attacks."

Meanwhile, former PNG Defence Forces Commander Major General Jerry Singirok has expressed shock at the unprecedented level of gun related violence in this year's poll.

He placed the blame squarely at the feet of the government for failing to action the 2005 Gun Control Report that he authored.

He said the proliferation of guns in the highlands was not only shocking but showed the lack of commitment and concern by successive governments to seriously address his report.

The Gun Control report made 244 recommendations which was endorsed by the PNG government when Singirok was the chairman.