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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 2) – The latest results in the presidential race for the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville show the leader of the People’s Congress, Joseph Kabui, in front.

Over the past two weeks voters have been electing 39 members to an Assembly that will be given significant powers of self-rule.

The latest progressive result posted this morning suggests Mr Kabui has received 61 per cent of the votes counted so far.

His nearest rival, former governor John Momis, is on 29 percent of votes.

An endorsement of Mr Kabui by the rebel leader Francis Ona had been expected to have an impact on the final result.

Election officials have declared provisional results for 18 constituency winners, as well as the winners of all three seats reserved in the assembly for former combatants, and for all three seats reserved for women.

A close observer of the elections in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says counting is still under way but winners have already been declared in nine seats.

Post Courier Buka bureau chief Gorothy Kenneth said winners had already been declared in nine seats.

They are Thomas Keriri, for the Rau constituency; William Eporta for Torokina; Leo Reivasi, Terra; Pais Taehu for Atolls; Rodney Osioco Job for Kokoda, and Dominic Itta, for Kongara, Andrew Topensi for Nissan; Tony Siona, for Bolave; and Michael Otoroa, for Lato.

Meanwhile, 15 out of the assembly’s 39 seats remain undeclared.

Results won’t be made official until after a 30-day period to allow for appeals.

June 3, 2005

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com



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