17 Apr 2012

PNG PM says outside security for polls unwarranted

12:47 pm on 17 April 2012

The Papua New Guinea prime minister, Peter O'Neill, says a suggestion that an Australian-led regional force be sent to PNG to ensure a free and safe election is unwarranted and premature.

The newspaper, The National, says such a move would undermine the work of the Electoral Commission and police.

A Melbourne University professor, Scott Flower told a conference last week that he doubted security resources inside PNG could prevent violence, intimidation and ballot hijacking in the June election.

He says Australia should urgently consider organising a regional security force.

Mr O'Neill says the Electoral Commission has the constitutional responsibility to take charge, run and deliver a successful general election this year.

He says there are likely to be security challenges but he is confident that the plans to deal with such issues.