1 Jul 2008

PNG election violence claims life

2:40 pm on 1 July 2008

A man was killed, a politician hacked with an axe and a village house burnt to the ground during local body elections in Western Highlands in Papua New Guinea at the weekend.

Rampant corruption and spending of district support grants to buy votes also has been alleged during the campaign for council president in the provincial capital, Mt Hagen.

The Post-Courier newspaper reports the Lumusa council president Mark Mapusa was hit with an axe, allegedly by supporters of a rival candidate during the election.

Mr Mapusa was taken to a nearby health centre where he continues to receive treatment for the axe wound.

Mr Mapusa's supporters allegedly retaliated later that night.

During the pay-back attack one of Mr Mapusa's supporters was shot dead while a rival supporter's house was burnt to the ground.

Police, senior officials and Mr Mapusa have called for calm and for people to allow vote counting to continue.