New Guinea Islands Gear up for Election

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The coming 2017 National General Elections will be a tough one for the police in the New Guinea Islands (NGI) Region.

In less than two months before the issuing of the writs, the police are gearing up for what seems to be a “ stressful” police operation, after the Papua New Guinea Police hierarchies announced late last year that the police headquarters will not be supporting the work of police during the elections.

The Police Commissioner, Garry Baki had tasked each regional command to utilize their own men and, resources during the election period.

However, most of them have already indicated shortages of resources, and police strength.

But this predicament has not stopped the New Guinea Islands police from working on strategic plans to achieve an orderly election.

Most of the NGI provinces are made up of outer islands that require reliable sea mobility.

Manus province is one of the four NGI provinces that had announced publicly about its needs for the election times.

The head of Manus police, Senior Inspector David Yapu told EMTV News that any serious law and order issue on the island during the election period may exhaust their police resources and manpower.

“There will be 21 polling posts in Manus, and I am still understaffed and have limited resources. I need transport to enable our mobility, both on land and, on the sea,” Senior Inspector Yapu said.

He said they are engaging the local people in community awareness about election security to reduce chances of law and order issues during the election period.

“We will engage all the police reservists, Correctional service officers and the navy personnel at Lombrum Naval Base during the election period,” Yapu said.

The Heads of Police in the five New Guinea Island provinces are expected to meet, and discuss how the elections will be handled collectively.

All five provinces are expected to mitigate threats to the election security using the same concept, by calling in support from its sister disciplinary institutions.

Edwin Fidelis

is EMTV's correspondent based in Kokopo, East New Britain. He has been with EMTV for four years covering social issues, crime, politics, development and business stories for news and documentary programs. Edwin graduated from Divine Word University in 2013 with a Bachelor in Communication Arts and Journalism.

Edwin Fidelis

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