The National, Friday July 6th, 2012
A LAWYER for a candidate contesting the Imbonggu open seat was allegedly abducted by armed supporters of another candidate on Monday.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Jim Andrews said lawyer McRonald Nale was abducted by supporters of sitting MP Francis Awesa but police intervened and rescued him.
No one was arrested. Supporters of the two candidates had been involved in disputes recently.
Andrews said Nale was at the Mendi courthouse trying to obtain a court document to serve on police when he was attacked.
Andrews said there had been an on-going confrontation between supporters of Pila Niningi and Awesa after there were disputes on two ballot boxes from Piambel One and Two.
This resulted in a big protest march in Mendi on Tuesday by supporters of other candidates who demanded that the boxes not be counted because of the irregularities.
Andrews alleged that the ballot boxes for the areas were hijacked by supporters of Niningi.
A community leader from Imbonggu said 46,000-plus people of the electorate were fed-up of the fighting between supporters of Niningi and Awesa.
“There is no reason for these two candidates to fight,” he said.
“The people have spoken through the ballot boxes and they (Niningi and Awesa) must allow counting to continue uninterrupted.”
He wanted peace to prevail in the electorate.
He said any disputes or grievances should be taken to court of disputed returns after the counting.