​Ballot papers allegedly burnt by angry students

Over 1000 ballot papers were burnt this afternoon at the University of Technology, allegedly by angry student voters.

A source on the ground says student voters destroyed the polling booth because ballot papers did not match the number of eligible voters – an estimated 4 thousand plus voters against just more than 1100 ballot papers.

Lae’s metropolitan superintendent, Anthony Wagambie Junior, said police responded to the ballot paper burning episode, where three prime suspects have been identified.

Two of the suspects were caught boarding a 25-seater bus parked outside the campus with a large group of people after the ballot papers were burnt.

Police monitored them until a Mobile Squad Unit and Sector Patrol Unit intercepted the bus along the speedway and escorted it, still full of passengers, including the culprits, to the Lae Police Station.

The two men were identified to be from Southern Highlands and Hela provinces, and claimed to be students from Unitech.

The third suspect, believed to be from Enga, is still at large.

The 25-seater bus has been grounded at the police station while the driver and crew are being questioned.

Provincial Election Manager, Simon Soheke, says there will not be any polling for the ward following this incident.

Salome Vincent