Unusual compensation demand after deadly PNG clash

2:54 pm on 1 May 2017

Relatives of three people killed in Papua New Guinea are demanding thousands of votes for their candidates in the upcoming election.

PNG police on patrol

Photo: AFP

The Post Courier reported that the three were killed in an election-related clash between Bali Vitu Islanders and Bulu people of Talasea in West New Britain province last Thursday.

For compensation, aggrieved relatives are asking for US$60,000 each for the dead, as well as 3000 votes each to two candidates.

The candidates are contesting the West New Britain Regional and Talasea Open seats.

According to the Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, it's illegal for people to demand votes or hold voters at ransom.

PNG heads to the polls in June.

Meanwhile, the provincial police commander reported that 31 suspects in the fatal clash had surrendered.

Jim Namora said police were still trying to diffuse a tense situation in West New Britain's capital, Kimbe, while 17 prisoners had escaped from the town's jail.

He expressed gratitude to Police Commissioner Gari Baki, who was on a provincial visit, for helping ease tension and fear in the community.

However, Kimbe's main market remained closed while negotiations between the two factions were taking place.

Mr Namora added that 17 prisoners escaped from Lakiemata jail in a mass breakout.

One has been re-captured while police and Correctional Services officers are stretching their limited manpower to search for the escapees.