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Learning English - Words in the News
20 June, 2007 - Published 14:40 GMT
Papua New Guinea elections
PNG lies on the "Ring of Fire", an area prone to volcanic eruptions

Troops have been deployed ahead of national elections in Papua New Guinea. Security is emerging as a major challenge before the vote at the end of the month. Five years ago, elections were marred by violence and ballot-rigging. This report from Phil Mercer:

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This election will see Papua New Guinea's biggest ever police operation. Thousands of officers will be deployed across the country. They'll be supported by the army.

Special attention is being paid to the Highlands region. The first contingent of troops arrived in Mount Hagen, the capital of the Western Highlands Province, over the weekend. Their job is to stop a repeat of the chaos that blighted the last election in 2002. Many seats were declared invalid because of violence, intimidation and electoral fraud. About 25 people were killed. Aircraft carrying ballot boxes were shot at amid allegations of corruption and vote rigging.

Signs of tension ahead of this election have started to emerge. Rival factions have clashed in Mount Hagen, leaving several people with knife and axe wounds. The Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has, however, said he's confident the vote will be free and fair. Almost 3,000 candidates are contesting 109 seats in Papua New Guinea's parliament. The South Pacific country goes to the polls at the end of this month.

Phil Mercer, BBC News, Sydney

Listen to the words

sent out (to do something)


affected (negatively), disrupted

making people afraid or fearful

electoral fraud
illegal interference or disturbance to the election process

ballot boxes
the containers where the votes are kept

allegations of corruption
charges of wrongdoing

vote rigging
controlling or fixing who gets the most votes

ahead of

Rival factions
competing groups or parties

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