BOUGAINVILLE GEARS UP FOR NATIONAL ELECTIONS

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Polling teams trek to remote villages

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 3, 2010) – More than 118 polling teams and about 200 officials in Papua New Guinea are set to take up their positions at polling sites in the province of Bougainville.

Polling officially begins on Friday and the Post Courier reports that some polling teams are ready to walk to the province’s mountains which are not accessible by road, to set up booths and build residential tents.

[PIR editor’s note: Representatives from the Pacific Island Development Program(PIDP) at the East-West Center in Hawaii are among international experts monitoring the elections. PIDP produces the daily Pacific Islands Report as a service to developing nations across the Pacific.]

For the first time in Bougainville’s election history, the police are also launching their election operations in the town of Arawa today.

This initiative by the province’s newly appointed police Commissioner, Thomas Elu, is designed to show that the police presence in the region can be effective.

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