Sat09232017

LAST_UPDATEFri, 22 Sep 2017 8pm

Papua New Guinea Court Order Bans 'Tomato' Insult

Papua New Guinea's electoral commissioner has gone to court to stop a critical blogger from mocking his name as the country goes to the polls.

Patilias Gamato won the order against blogger Martyn Namarong, who referred to him as "Tomato", and was accused of posting an image of the election chief with a tomato for a head, the Post Courier newspaper reports. Mr Namarong denies ever posting the doctored image.

According to Australian broadcaster ABC, Mr Gamato said he resorted to court action when Mr Namorong began using the fruit-based insult, although he was not the first person to do so. "He made some defamatory statements and also called my surname 'tomato'," he told ABC.

"I don't look like a tomato, I'm a human being."

In response to the court case, Mr Namarong tweeted a picture of himself gagged and blindfolded.

With counting in the Papua New Guinea election still ongoing, Reuters reports that the Commonwealth Observer Group has expressed its concerns over reports of election-related violence and vote buying, "in some cases through the use of state resources and development funds".

Early results show the ruling People's National Congress party in the lead, with incumbent Prime Minister Peter O'Neill winning his seat.

-BBC