Police storm Papua New Guinea Parliament demanding APEC summit pay

Disgruntled police and prison guards stormed Papua New Guinea's Parliament today in a pay dispute that stemmed from the APEC summit hosted by the South Pacific island nation over the weekend, a lawmaker said.

Images posted by opposition lawmaker Bryan Kramer on social media showed broken windows, smashed furniture, framed pictures torn from corridor walls and plants tipped over.

Kramer said the protesters had not been paid allowances for their security work at a Pacific Rim leaders' summit held in Port Moresby.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting was attended by US Vice President Mike Pence, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and others including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Following the rampage, about 100 police and guards waited outside Parliament demanding to be addressed by the government about their allowances, Kramer said.

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2018, file photo, A lawmaker said on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, disgruntled police and prison guards have stormed Papua New Guinea’s Parliament in a pay dispute that stemmed from the international summit hosted by the South Pacific island nation. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
A security official stands guard outside a perimeter fence for a secured area ahead of the APEC Economic Leaders' Week Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Source: Associated Press

"The situation here is quite tense," Kramer said from Parliament on social media. "Numerous staff of parliament were assaulted during this confrontation."

New Zealand has given the country $15 million towards security for the event. Source: 1 NEWS

Working police later provided security for parliamentary staff in the building and patrolled surrounding streets.

Neither Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's office nor Police Chief Superintendent Dominic Kakas immediately responded to requests for comment.

Kramer also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Papua New Guinea is a largely undeveloped Pacific nation of more than eight million mostly subsistence farmers with widespread poverty, corruption and lawlessness.

The annual APEC summit brought together representatives of 21 nations that account for 60 percent of the world economy.

New Zealand gave the country $15 million towards security at the event.

Security at the PNG Parliament.
Security at the PNG Parliament. Source: Facebook / Bryan Kramer.