People assaulted as violence erupts in Unggai-Bena

National, Normal

The National,Friday July 13th, 2012

VIOLENCE has erupted in the Unggai-Bena open electorate, Eastern Highlands province, with the disembowelment of a young man and a number of fights among supporters of candidates yesterday.
Police also reported a roadblock incident in the Unggai area where a vehicle belonging to MP Benny Allan was stopped and its occupants assaulted.
No killing had been reported.Election officials, however, said most of the polling in the electorate had been completed with a few areas yet to be covered due to a shortage of ballot papers, which did not correspond with names of voters on the common roll.
Counting is expected to start next week.
Allan confirmed yesterday the assault on his supporters and damages to the vehicle.
“Elections-related problems have got out of hand and security personnel on the ground are having a hard time containing them.”He said the much-publicised commitment by the 20-odd candidates in Unggai-Bena to ensure a free, fair and safe election had been all a lie.
“I have done my best to educate my supporters and other candidates must also do the same.
“I urge the people of Unggai-Bena to respect the law and the rights of all individuals.”
Allan said now that polling was over, they should all wait patiently for counting to begin and a declaration made. “When a winner is announced, we should all congratulate the candidate and work together with our representative for the next five years.”
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen could not be reached for a comment last night.