Police in Autonomous Region of Bougainville ready for polling
POLICE in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) are all set and ready to kick start polling next week Monday, June 25, 2012, according to Assistant Commissioner Police (ACP) for the ARB Thomas Eluh.
ACP Eluh is also confident that elections in the ARB will be trouble free, as has been in three previous elections he has overseen as the police chief during his term of office there.
“The last three elections of which two were Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) elections while one was the North Bougainville by election, were peaceful, and this one will be no different.
“I am confident that this election will be trouble free. During the awareness campaigns conducted in combination by Police, Electoral Commission and chiefs, people of Bougainville were told to take ownership of this election, and which they have done so in the previous ones.
“So far, the people of Bougainville have shown that democracy is truly alive here, and it will be no different for this election,” ACP Eluh said.
A total of 300 police personnel, consisting of 179 regular police men and women and 121 special constables will be deployed throughout the island to ensure a free, fair and safe election.
ACP Eluh said that for each of the regions of the ARB, North, Central and South, police personnel who hail from the region will be deployed in the relevant headquarters of Buka, Arawa and Buin respectively.
ACP Eluh said that police in the ARB had combined with Electoral officers and chiefs to conduct a huge pre election awareness campaign program throughout the region which has just been completed.
The awareness among others focused on law and order and cross-cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS. The pre election activities conducted throughout the island, even to the so called “No Go Zone and Me’ekamui areas were successful and went without any problem which is a prelude to the major anticipated polling event.
ACP Eluh said that election related funding this time around is controlled from headquarters and provinces have to work out their budget and monies send to them to cover the costing for the relevant activities of which so far for the ARB Police, fuel and hire of vehicles, allowances for the police personnel to be engaged in the polling operation have been given.
He said that K171,000 has been allocated to help out police in areas they will need funding to carry out a smooth and successful polling operation.
He said that overall, a total of K130 million was requested by Police for the polling operations, however, it was cut down to K105 million. He says he has nothing to complain about and he is satisfied with the allocation given for the ARB Police Polling Operations.
ACP Eluh is now appealing to all Bouganvilleans to ensure that a trouble free election is conducted throughout the island.
“Take ownership of this election as it is very important that it goes ahead in order for you to achieve your dreams, which is the referendum and eventually, independence. As I have stated, I am confident of a successful and trouble free polling on Bougainville,” ACP Eluh concluded.