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Papua New Guinea: Machete gang attacks voters outside polling booths during election

Distressing footage has surfaced of a machete-wielding gang attacking voters outside polling booths in Papua New Guinea. 

The video shows at least a dozen men, armed with long blades and makeshift bats, causing chaos in the Northeast electorate in the capital of Port Moresby – about 500km north of Australia.

One man is seen being encircled by three others who take turns beating him with an unknown object before running towards the counting area in the city’s centre.

The terrifying clip is the latest incident in a string of violent scenes being witnessed across the country amid the national election.

Observers took to Twitter as poll results were released triggering escalating acts of brutality between feuding factions.

Local authorities are yet to comment on the unfolding situation but local media reports claim there have been several deaths.

‘Election-related violence for Port Moresby Northeast electorate at the counting area, Vision City, Waigani, NCD,’ the graphic video was captioned. 

‘Not safe please avoid the area. It’s happening now.’

One man is encircled by three others who take turns beating him with an unknown object before running towards the counting area in the city centre

‘Riots breaking all over PNG today, as election results are released, riots between rival factions start up. A number of people killed,’ another tweeted. 

‘People have been attacked with machetes outside an election counting centre in #PNG’s capital Port Moresby,’ ABC correspondent Natalie Whiting posted. 

‘I’ve been told it’s over a counting dispute for the Moresby North East electorate but waiting for official comment from police.’

At least 30 people are believed to have been killed during the six-week election campaign – in both violent clashes and road accidents. 

A minister’s convoy was set on fire in one area while an electorate official was shot in another.

The governments has been accused of not updating the common list of eligible voters, meaning at least one million will miss out on casting their vote. 

Observers took to Twitter as election results were released, triggering escalating acts of violence between feuding factions and even deaths (pictured, scenes in Port Moresby)

The electoral commission did not have the financial means to update the electoral roll – with observers fearing the oversight would spark violence at polling booths. 

There are also concerns over the transport of ballot papers and the number of electorate officials tasked with the security of the documents. 

About 7,000 people have been enlisted to ensure the safety of voters at polling booths with citizens encouraged to report electoral offences. 

PNG’s last election in 2017 also became synonymous with violence as well as allegations of fraud and vote-buying in some electorates.

The two most likely candidates are Prime Minister James Marape and the man he displaced, former prime minister Peter O'Neill (pictured, scenes in Port Moresby)

The two most likely candidates are Prime Minister James Marape and the man he displaced, former prime minister Peter O’Neill (pictured, scenes in Port Moresby)

The two most likely candidates are Prime Minister James Marape and the man he displaced, former prime minister Peter O’Neill.

Mr Marape’s Pangu Party contested more than 80 seats, while Mr O’Neill’s People’s National Congress contested more than 90.

To add to the chaos of the election, three candidates have been excluded from the running over various criminal convictions. 

One candidate was convicted of murder, another of rape and a third of conspiracy to defraud – while a fourth MP, Lohia Boe Samuel, was charged with murder after a shooting in a Port Moresby restaurant in March. 

More than 50 parties will contest this election, with about half to be voted in with elections held every six years in PNG (pictured, violent scenes in Port Moresby)

More than 50 parties will contest this election, with about half to be voted in with elections held every six years in PNG (pictured, violent scenes in Port Moresby)

As the court case is ongoing, the politician is able to recontest his seat.

More than 50 parties will contest this election, held every six years in PNG. 

The results will be handed in on Friday, July 29 with the party with the highest number of MP’s to form government in August. 

Conducting an election in PNG is considerably challenging due to remote electorates, difficult terrain and poor infrastructure. 

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is expected to visit the country soon after the new government is formed. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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