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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 27) - Police in Madang who were supposed to be sent to the districts over the weekend for election duties are still in town because they have not received their allowances.

[PIR editor’s note: Madang is the capitol of Madang Province, on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea’s mainland peninsula.]

Madang police chief Anthony Wagambie (Jnr) said yesterday the officers were scheduled to leave from last Friday but had not left because they had not got their allowances. He said he understood the problem was not confined to Madang.

"There has been a slight setback to our operations not only in Madang but also in the other centers but we are confident it will be fixed soon," he said. "I have received reports from police headquarters that these funds have been paid into the banks. However these funds have yet to show in the individual bank accounts. We understand there must be some delay in the processing of these funds at the banks and anticipate it will be fixed today (yesterday)," he said.

Wagambie also confirmed the safe arrival of the ballot papers for Madang, saying they would be distributed to the respective returning officers in preparation for polling.

Meanwhile, he said the weekend had been a peaceful one for the province with no major incidents reported.

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