Imbonggu officials boycott duties over safety fears

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 10th July, 2012

OFFICIALS in the Imbonggu electorate in Southern Highlands will continue to boycott counting until their safety is guaranteed.
They also wanted the counting venue changed.
The boycott began after they said supporters of a candidate threatened them last Saturday.
Counting had since been suspended.
The counting officials said they were at a guest house at Tente around 4pm when a vehicle drove straight into the house where they were residing.
They said this had created fear among them.
A counting official who asked not to be named because of security reasons said they feared for their lives.
The official said a vehicle was used by a person believed to be the bodyguard of the candidate who drove straight at the house they were in.
He said they would only return to counting the rest of the boxes once their security was guaranteed.
They want the counting venue shifted to Mt Hagen or Walium which are more central locations.
He said they were some security personnel there but they did nothing to protect them.
“Where is our security?
“The security personnel should move in and arrest them,” he said.
Provincial police commander Sibron Papoto said he had heard of the incident but no formal complaint had been lodged with his office.
He said his office was waiting for the counting officials to report the matter.
Papoto said police could not carry out any investigation when there was no evidence.