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Pundari condemns Enga election violence

Sir John Pundari says known election candidates are responsible for the unprovoked criminal violence in Kompiam Ambum which has resulted in deaths and the destruction of vital government properties worth millions of kina

Burning infrastructure in Kompiam (Teddy Piagari)
Burning buildings in Kompiam, Enga Province (Teddy Piagari)

| Papua New Guinea Today

ENGA - We cannot blame the Electoral Commission and security personnel for criminal activities carried out by candidates or supporters.

We need to come out clear and condemn these acts in the strongest possible terms.

My district has lost government properties worth hundreds of millions of kina and I am shattered for my people and the public servants who have fled to seek refuge.

Kompiam-Ambum never experienced such violence in the past elections.

This disease of violence and destruction has been introduced by power hungry individuals with sinister motives against the Liberal Party and my people’s rights to express themselves in the democratic process.

The state assets that have gone down in flames will take time to rebuild; and I grieve for the future of our younger generation, who are tomorrow’s leaders and elites of the district.

They are now deprived of their rights to education and other basic government services.

The sick attitude of blame game and cover up statements through media to score political points must stop.

The people need us, as their leaders to provide appropriate leadership during this time of chaos and violence in the Province and our people need us to show the true colour of our leadership.

The People’s Party founder, Governor Peter Ipatas, is a part of the current Marape government and cannot continue to blame the government of which he is a part, by shifting blame to the Electoral Commission or the Police.

In fact it is his party-sponsored candidates and supporters who have caused the destruction.

Sir John Pundari
Sir John Pundari was first elected as MP for Kompiam-Ambum in 1992

One of the governor’s-sponsored candidates was seen leading  the attacks by witnesses.

If there is any complaint of ballot box hijacking, leaders and candidates should know there is a process in place for dispute.

Where is their evidence? Hearsay is not evidence.

They need to present evidence to the Electoral Commission and not through violence and destruction by use of guns and criminal acts.

There are lawful processes for dealing with election anomalies.

Taking the law into our own hands and justifying our actions by one-sided claims and allegations is unwarranted and unforgivable.

My supporters and I will cooperate and support investigations into these atrocities conducted by police after the elections.

These people who have caused destruction of state assets and terrorised the people are nothing short of criminals.

They must be investigated and arrested by the police.

Leaders supporting such violence must be ashamed of ourselves.

There is no justification of any kind for this behaviour.

From reports I received from my scrutineers, generally polling was conducted well in most of the wards in my electorate thanks to the Electoral Commission and the security forces.

I feel for my people who have lost lives and properties in this unprovoked and unexpected conflict we were not prepared for.

Our call for support from the security forces fell short. We also understand that the security forces were stretched and could not do much.

During these difficult times of sorrow and pain, I pray for the innocent mothers and children who have been displaced and traumatised.

I also thank those who are keeping us in their prayers. Only God knows from the beginning to the end; and will ensure justice is done to the people of Kompiam Ambum.

The situation is highly volatile and it is unsafe to count in Enga, therefore I humbly ask the Electoral Commission to consider counting outside of the province and consider each district and their election related issues on a case by case basis.

A lie today will be destroyed by the truth tomorrow.


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Lindsay F Bond

OK, it was for only a few hours in 2009 that I visited Enga at Wapenamanda. No qualification for commenting on electoral matters in Enga, still this is to point to the somewhat 'galactic' distance needed to traverse, for the expectations of a yet emerging democratic institution as a national election process in Papua New Guinea.

Just this week comes report of the reach now afforded humans by the James Webb Space Telescope where time is noted as some 13 billion years. Contrast and compare a measurement almost the reverse in minuscule, that of disqualification of a sprint athlete because of a recorded time. The record for mini in athletics?

The athlete's achievement? "His reaction time was measured at 0.099 seconds — one one-thousandth of a second too fast", at a near 'perfect' start.


What in the year 2022 is the currency of democratic process in Papua New Guinea? All those folk who in the years since 1870's with their technology and intentions of caring for humanity in the isles of 'New Guinea', all those folk would be cheering at the triumphs of the now PNG and, still yet, tearing at the stumbles in the trek.

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