Police storm Papua New Guinea Parliament for APEC summit pay

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Security personnel on the back of a truck wait to be paid at Rita Flynn Netball Centre in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Tuesday, Nov. 20. (Jam Morales via AP)

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (AP) — Disgruntled police and prison guards stormed Papua New Guinea’s Parliament on Tuesday in a pay dispute that stemmed from an international 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 U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and others.

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

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

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 8 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.