Bougainville Government Budgets $750,000 For Election Security

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Electoral Office still awaits release of funds to conduct election

By Sheila Malken

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 4, 2015) – A budget of K2 million [US$735,000] has been approved by the Autonomous Bougainville Government for police to provide security during the election.

Bougainville assistant commissioner Chief Supt Paul Kamuai said security funding would be sourced from the special intervention fund provided by the Government in the K100 million-a-year [US$36.8 million] programme.

"The police are tied up with the preparation for the election but are yet to access the fund so that other planning can be carried out," Kamuai said.

"We made a submission last year for this budget and we were assured by the election steering committee that the budget has been approved and is forthcoming.

"We need to have access to this money so that we can make planning for the election and see how we can get assistance from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and other counterparts."

He said they might need additional manpower.

"There are only 184 regular officers in the region and a total of 328 community auxiliary police.

"This should be ok since we have provided security but we need to conduct internal training for officers.

"Logistics are not good but we will work on what we currently have. We will be looking at improving the police communication network within the work force.

"When we have the budget in our hand, we can execute other plans we have for the election period."

Bougainville acting electoral commissioner George Manu said the electoral office was waiting for its K1.5 million [US$552,000] allocation.

"This will be used to carry out certain activities before the issue of the writs at the end of this month."

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