28 Sep 2012

PNG provincial governor blames election violence on a returning officer

3:03 pm on 28 September 2012

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Enga province has blamed some of the election-related violence in the province on the reappointment by the Electoral Commission of a controversial returning officer.

Enga's Police Commander Martin Lakari says fighting between supporters of opposing candidates in the province has caused many deaths and destruction of property since the election two months ago.

Governor Peter Ipatas says the re-appointment in Kandep district of returning officer Napit Kae, previously the subject of electoral abuse allegations, is the source of much discontent.

"All I'm saying is why must the Electoral Commission, which is supposed to run a fair and just election, continue to appoint a person who has been implicated? So that's part of the problem. But then you have got supporters... and I think the candidates and everyone have got to own up to the problems there."

The Governor of Enga Province, Peter Ipatas.