By GEORGINA KOREI
THERE are concerns that police personnel assigned for general election security operations may not get the opportunity to cast their ballots, Border commander Assistant Commissioner Peter Philip says.
“From my own experience, I have not voted in all the general election as policemen and officers do not remain in one place most of the time,” he said.
“We move from one location to another. “It is a sad reality that most policemen, soldiers and Correctional Service (CS) officers would normally miss out on casting their ballots,” he added.
He said most security personnel were deployed in various parts of the country during a general election and their names may not be registered for voting in the location where they were on duty.
“Some 10,000 police personnel are deployed for security operations in this general election.
“This is a very big number of voters who may miss out on voting,” he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations) Anton Billie said there would be a special arrangement with the Electoral Commission to ensure that all security personnel get to cast their ballots before they were deployed for general election security operations.
“All security personnel, including 1,000 soldiers and 500 CS officers, have been told to give their names to their respective commanders who will then pass the list to me to arrange for them to vote during this election.”
Billie also said that in past elections, most of the security personnel did not cast their ballots as they were deployed to provide security in other provinces and that had been a concern.
Mendi police call for orderly electoral process
SOUTHERN Highlands police commander Chief Inspector Daniel Yangen says all candidates and supporters should behave during the nomination and polling period.
“The attitude of people moving in groups to support the candidates must stop because it is disturbing for others,” he said.
“The candidates should now know the existing laws in place and must control their supporters so that they do not break the laws like overloading vehicles, shouting and disturbing the peace and even drinking on moving vehicles.”
He said candidates needed to behave like leaders and start educating their supporters to behave sensibly.
“I want a peaceful week of nomination and also during the campaign period,” he said.
“We all must now know how to respect each other.”
He urged regional candidates coming to Mendi town to pay their nomination fees to ensure order and respect from their supporters.
“The candidates who will be contesting are all well educated people and they must be leaders during these time to help the police to talk to their supporters so they do not disturb others.”
Yangen said peace and order needed to be maintained in Mendi town during this crucial period in order for businesses and other services to operate for the benefit of the people.
Eastern Highlands people urged to follow electoral laws
By ZACHERY PER
EASTERN Highlands police commander Superintendent Michael Welly has warned people in Eastern Highlands not to interfere with the electoral process.
“Take ownership of the electoral process to elect your representative to the Parliament to represent you,” he said.
“We are up against time as there have been two deferrals for nominations.
“We are against time, stop wasting time to frustrate the process.”
Supt Welly told The National in Goroka yesterday that Eastern Highlanders had limited time to deliver nine members of parliament, including a governor, to represent them in the 11th National Parliament.
He called on candidates and their supporters to cooperate with staff of the PNG Electoral Commission, security forces and relevant agencies like the provincial government to speed up the process to have representatives elected ahead of the return of writs.
“My security operations started with massive awareness on electoral processes and laws to the people.
“We started at Mangiro in Daulo district at the border with Chimbu to Kassam Pass in Obura-Wonenara district at the border with Morobe,” he said.
He said some of the key messages delivered in the awareness were on separate polling booth for women, warnings against intimidation and suppressing and forcing voters to vote for particular candidates.
He said police and the security forces will also be there to ensure voters exercise their constitutional rights to vote freely.
People urged to behave responsibly during elections
By JIMMY KALEBE
POLICE in Lae and Morobe will be on high alert during the nomination period, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Northern Peter Guinness says.
He said police were ready to provide security and maintain order during the general election and cautioned the public to behave responsibly during this time.
“Candidates and their supporters during the nomination must abide by the laws in place; police will not hesitate to arrest and charge those deemed to have breached any election laws,” he said.
While making the statements, ACP Guinness could not confirm when exactly the nomination for Morobe would take place, taking into consideration the passing of Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil.
He said with Basil’s passing, the level of threat to election activities in Bulolo and Wau-Waria may have risen and this was something police would closely monitor.
Guinness urged all citizens, intending candidates and supporters to respect each other and to use common sense.
“We ought to respect each other and do it right for everyone’s benefit. Do not be selfish and cause inconveniences right from the nomination period through to the returning of writs.”
Meanwhile, Guinness also appealed to the public in Morobe to behave well when the province received Basil’s casket in the province this week.
“Police will be on high alert when the body touches down at Nadzab Airport, all the way to Lae and other programmed activities.”
He advised Morobeans to be respectful and mourn sensibly.