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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post Courier, May 5) – A man who is facing court charges arising from his alleged cargo cult activities has been endorsed by a political party to contest the Finschhafen open seat.

Ariganang Mingenang, who is facing charges of falsifying by telling fortunes, a charge arising from his alleged cult activities in Pindiu, Finschhafen, has been given legal clearance to contest in the elections.

He has been endorsed by the People’s Labour Party (PLP), which said it believed in his chances of winning after coming second in the 2002 elections.

Officials from the Electoral Commission also told the Post-Courier Mingenang was free to contest, as the laws only stopped a person from contesting if he or she had been found guilty of a criminal offense and convicted.

Mingenang’s case goes before the Lae District Court later this month.

The party has also endorsed Sopa Mon, the president of the Wau Rural LLG for the Bulolo open seat.

They join others that were endorsed two weeks ago, including Markham Open hopeful Koni Iguan. Morobe PLP branch president George Tekwa said the candidates the party endorsed were all strong and had made big impressions in the 2002 election.

Mr Tekwa also said after consultation with party leader Peter Yama, the party would not field candidates for the Morobe Regional seat held by Governor Luther Wenge and Lae Open, held by New Generation Party leader Bart Philemon.

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