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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 8, 2002 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---The main party in Papua New Guinea's current government, the People’s Democratic Movement, suffered major upsets in general election results declared during the weekend.

Deputy Minister Michael Ogio and two other ministers lost the battle to retain their seats.

Works and Transport Minister Alfred Pogo and Housing Minister Ginson Saonu lost to newcomers.

They follow Trade and Industry Minister Tukape Masani, who lost his Huon Gulf seat late last week.

Mr. Ogio lost the North Bougainville Open seat to National Alliance candidate James Togel following counting of the three disputed ballot boxes on Saturday.

Another government minister, Sir Moi Avei, from the Melanesian Alliance Party, successfully defended his Kairuku-Hiri Open seat in Central Province.

The National Party also suffered a major upset when its Parliamentary Leader Paul Pora lost his Hagen Open seat to Independent candidate William Duma.

Counting in that seat was plagued with controversy from the beginning until the declaration.

Mr Pora’s deputy, Father Robert Lak, was trailing in the Western Highlands Provincial seat. This is led by People's Democratic Movement founder and former Prime Minister Paias Wingti, who appears to be reversing Father Lak's shock win last time.

Almost 3,000 candidates representing more than 40 parties are competing for 109 parliamentary seats across Papua New Guinea. Voting continued through an unexpected third week because of security and financial worries.

Other developments:

* Independent candidate and former diplomat Moses Maladina defeated Pangu sitting MP John Kanadi to claim the Esa‘ala Open seat in Milne Bay Province.

* Newcomer Allan Bird took the lead from founding Prime Minister and National Alliance Leader Sir Michael Somare as counting continued in the East Sepik provincial race.

* In the Wewak Open seat, sitting MP and National Parliament Speaker Bernard Narokobi was trailing Nation Transformation Party candidate Kimson Marcus Kare.

* In Gulf Province, Pangu Pati leader Chris Haiveta took over the lead from People’s National Congress Party candidate Havila Kavo.

* In Madang Province, former minister and businessman Sir Peter Barter is leading the race for the provincial seat. Sir Peter is an independent candidate.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 



PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 7, 2002 – NAU-FM/PINA Nius Online)---Papua New Guinea election candidate and former high-flying Privatization Commission chairperson Ben Micah was arrested by Kavieng police as voting counting continued.

The arrest of Mr. Micah is not related to the elections but is over an unsettled maintenance claim.

Mr. Micah was arrested in front of his supporters while speaking with police.

The situation is tense but quiet and police are in full gear for any trouble that might arise

In the counting for the Kavieng Open seat, Mr. Micah (Pan Melanesian Congress) is in second place but well behind front runner Martin Aini (Papua and Niugini Union Pati).

For additional reports from NAU-FM, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/NAU-FM/YUMI-FM: PNG Village (Port Moresby)

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