All Political Rallies Must Be Sanctioned

The Western Highlands Provincial Police Commander will sanction all political rallies or gatherings within the Mt Hagen township.

That is the directive from the Highlands Eastern-end Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner Rigga Neggi.

He issued this instruction, when condemning the actions of two Hagen Open electorate candidates, William Duma and James Yoka for the disruption caused to government and commercial services in the heart of Mt Hagen city on Tuesday, June 21.

Commander Neggi said the swift response of the security forces on the ground contained the situation but it could have been much worse.

He said Police have stepped up special security operations and roadblocks around Mt Hagen town to prevent further reckless behaviours going into the polling period.

The fight between the candidates’ supporters allegedly began when Mr Yoka’s supporters during a rally at the Pope John Paul Oval, stoned the rival supporter’s vehicle. A fight broke out but was quickly quelled by the Quick Response Force (QRF).

It was alleged that Mr Duma’s supporters then ambushed the rally goers at Kalakai and set alight a vehicle belonging to Mr Yoka’s supporters as they were returning.

Commander Neggi commended his officers for their swift response in taking control of the situation and preventing it from escalating further.

Deputy Highlands Eastern-end Chief Superintendent, Joseph Tondop said the national election is an important event for the people to exercise their constitutional rights to vote for a leader of their choice without fear, threats or intimidation.

“I appeal to the people, especially youths, to understand the importance of this event that comes once every five years,” Mr Tondop said.

Police are warning candidates to take control of their supporters and their emotions or they will be held responsible.

Loop Author