Police in Hela on alert as polling begins

National, Normal

The National, Friday July 26th, 2013


POLLING in Hela has started yesterday morning from Tari-Pori district and police are doing their best to provide security.

Hela provincial police commander Supt Jimmy Onopia said that despite lack of resources and manpower, he had directed his officers to keep a close eye on every ward during polling and to be quick to quell suspicious situations.

He said the three district of Hela would be doing their polling for three days each and Tari-Pori will be finishing off.

He said so far some LLG wards were in the middle of their polling and no reports of violence or tampering of ballot boxes had been received.

He said after Tari-Pori, next Monday to Wednesday would be Komo-Margarima district and finally Koroba-Kopiago district from Thursday to Saturday.

Onopia said all polling will be done this week and next week.

“People must learn to work peacefully without the presence of security personnel. We have good peace-loving leaders in the province who  people should listen to.”

“People should not capitalise on the absence of security personnel to cause problems,” he said.

He added that Hela people must learn to solve problems without the presence of police if they really wanted to change.

“Police are law enforcers and it is not the responsibility of the police alone to conduct this election,” he said.

“This is a community-based election and people must work alongside with village elders and chiefs to make it a free, fair and successful LLG election. 

He said majority of the population were living in the rural areas and to provide security personnel to those areas would cost money.

Onopia said police based in the three districts were organised to patrol polling areas to make sure no violence was created by supporters.