Local killed, polling deferred

Polling for Marmar village at the Bitapaka local level government, East New Britain Province, has been deferred due to the killing of a local.

On Tuesday, June 27, a 40-year-old man from Marmar village died from wounds sustained during an election-related clash.

Provincial police commander (PPC), Joseph Tabali, told Loop PNG that the fight started on June 22, a day before the campaign period was to end.

“After campaigning, the deceased, Beringson Paul, and his team convoyed back to Marmar village, sometime between 8 and 9pm,” says Tabali.

“There they started preparing rations for the final day of campaigning, June 23.”

During that time, a fight erupted over accusations of stealing food from the stock.

“The deceased was innocent. He intervened to rescue the first victim of the fight when he was chopped by the attackers with bush knives.

“The first cut was above his left knee while the second cut was below it.”

Paul was admitted the same night (June 22) to Vunapope hospital but was later discharged on June 24.

However, he was readmitted two days later (Monday) after his wounds started bleeding again. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.

“The election manager, Joap Voivoi, and I held discussions with scrutineers of each candidate in Kokopo, including the candidates themselves. We all agreed that situation is still tense, therefore polling scheduled for today is deferred to Saturday (July 1).

“My investigating team has been tasked to immediately get the suspect arrested.

“We know the name and full details of the suspect, who decamped when we went to arrest him.”

Police are now on the lookout for the suspect, from Rainau village at the Bitapaka LLG.

The province started its 14 days of polling on June 24.

Carmella Gware