The National, Monday 17th June 2013
POLICE will be present to monitor activities at the 37 local level government polling sites in Morobe, according to provincial police commander Supt Leo Lamei.
He was responding to a statement by provincial law and order chairman Peter Namus that police could not afford to be at rural polling sites because of lack of funding.
Lamei said Namus’ claim was wrong.
“He cannot speak for me and David Warap, the metropolitan commander, because he never consulted us before going to the media,” Lamei said.
“Yes we are down on manpower and resources but I assure the people of Morobe that there will be at least one or two policemen at all 37 designated sites during the polling period.
“It will be just like the national election last year.”
Namus claimed last week that K2 million allocated by Morobe to the Electoral Commission to run the LLG elections in the province was inadequate.
He claimed thatit could not cover helicopter and boat hires to transport police officers toremote polling stations in the province.
The funding shortfall could be attributed to a drastic cut of K30million from a budgeted K80million to run the local level government elections in the country this year.
But Supt Lameisaid the LLG elections would go ahead as scheduled and completed.
“We are very much aware of the shortfall in resources, logistics and manpower but we will effectively use whatever is available and ask for help when we need it,” he said.
“I assure the people of Morobe that there will atleast be one or two policemen on the ground at all 37 polling sites.”
He advised Namusto stop making public statements which could be potentially disruptive to the LLG elections in the province.