PORT MORESBY CANDIDATE CHASED, STONED

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 27) - Moresby South candidate Justin Tkatchenko and his supporters yesterday claimed they were chased off and stoned at rival candidate Carol Kidu’s stronghold of Pari village in National Capital District after a rally on Monday night.

They reported the windscreen of one of the 11 hired buses was smashed by stone throwing supporters of Dame Carol who ambushed the convoy on the roadside around 8:00 p.m. while they were leaving after the rally.

Seven youths -- four girls and three boys -- reportedly received injuries to their bodies. Several of the injured youths in the stoned bus showed up at the Post- Courier premises at Konedobu yesterday.

Mr. Tkatchenko’s supporters, including the owner of the stoned buses are demanding Dame Carol "sort" them out or else they will retaliate.

It is understood this is one of the first reported cases of election violence in the nation’s capital.

A woman who was in the bus at the time but who wished to remain anonymous, said there were children and mothers in the buses when they were attacked.

She said other prominent leaders were also traveling at the time of the attack.

"When we were preparing to leave the village, Dame Carol’s supporters shouted and asked us why we came here and that we must leave immediately as they will be waiting for us along the road," the woman claimed.

Tkatchenko called the Post-Courier yesterday saying he and his supporters were caught by surprise.

"They surprised us. We didn’t expect such things to happen because we do nothing like that," Tkatchenko said.

However, Dame Carol’s secretary Peter Noka, who is also from Pari village, denied the allegations.

"There was no stone throwing, no fighting, and no nothing. It’s a total lie. No bus was stoned. We got a lot of witness to verify that,’’ he said.

"Sir Peter Barter was there too and he will tell you the rally was a peaceful one." Mr. Noka said.

Sir Peter, when contacted yesterday, said all this sounded strange, adding it was "absolute b…! There was nothing like that, he (Tkatchenko) was the one who forcefully invaded Pari village," Sir Peter said.

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