20 Jun 2002

PNG elections showing early signs of violent trends seen in 1997 elections

5:36 am on 20 June 2002

The Media Council in Papua New Guinea says this year's elections are beginning the slide towards the violent trends of the 1997 Elections.

There have been four days of polling and so far there have been four fatalities and violence in Western Highlands and Lae.

Heavily-armed police have been deployed in Western Highlands following deadly gunbattles between supporters of political candidates.

The police have set up a security perimeter around the police station housing the ballot boxes.

There was also violence in Port Moresby during Monday's vote, which was extended into Tuesday, after problems with the roll, the late opening of polling stations, and clashes between supporters.

Ten people in the capital were charged with various election-related crimes including intimidating, threatening and double-voting.