Prime Minister James Marape has condemned in the strongest terms the violence being perpetrated upon government and public property in certain areas of the country while stressing that these incidents are being turned over to police to investigate and bring to justice those responsible, including candidates.The Prime Minister also said he was in the process of putting out an added 500 police and army personnel to hotspot areas to further protect key institutions, sites, assets, and government and public property such as Porgera, Hides, Kutubu and other key installations. “The Police Commissioner has been given instruction to follow this through. We will not brush aside these acts under the cover of election to be treated lightly. We will work on every evidence, including social media postings, case-by-case, and electorate-by-electorate. You cannot break the law and live in our country, whether you are a candidate, sitting MP, supporter or an electoral staff member,” said PM Marape. “I want to warn candidates across the country to control your supporters. Control your villages. Control the areas of influence you come from in the country. You are contesting to show leadership; you are not contesting to demonstrate frustration, to break laws, to become warlords, thugs and criminals. “We have given instruction to Police to compile evidence on every incident of law breaking in the country related to these elections.” PM Marape said these acts of violence upon government and public property is going to cost the nation more money, money the country does not have at the moment as it tries to recover from its current financial woes. “I warn our people involved in these criminal activities that police will be dealing with you even after the elections. We will work on cases and prosecute those who are found to have caused arson, destruction and illegal activities. “Law and order during elections starts with us leaders who are contesting. If we encourage our supporters to break the law then we are not qualified as leaders in the first place. I direct all candidates – if you are encouraging your supporters to hold guns, to fight, to be arsonists and cause destruction, you are not qualified to be a leader in the first instance. You are a criminal! “For the areas involved in these activities, you do not deserve to lobby for roads, hospitals and schools. Schools are meant to benefit our children. We contest elections to deliver these very services and to see candidates involved directly or indirectly in the burning of such public institutions and utilities is very disturbing. “I condemn in the highest those who torch schools and public properties.” PM Marape said if his government returns to power, he would fund Police and personally see to it that investigations are carried out into these violent acts, and arrests made starting with the responsible candidate. “This will be the way to go without fear or favour. If you are a candidate and if you don’t control violence and violence has started on your side, you will be the reference point from which Police will begin their investigations. This is going to happen after the dust has settled after the 2022 National General Elections. “I remind all candidate, in the little time left in the polling and counting, to contain and control your supporters. Otherwise, you are accessory to all these criminal activities,” said PM Marape.