By Andrew Alphonse

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 18) - Southern Highlands Governor Hami Yawari still leads the regional seat tally with more than 14,000 vote margin over his nearest rival. After count 229 yesterday, Mr. Yawari polled 42,528 votes to maintain a strong lead.

Former Mendi MP and People’s National Congress Party man Michael Nali is second with 28,706 votes, while independent candidate Dickson Tasi is third with 20,947.

Former governor Anderson Agiru has surged closer to the race with 20,722 votes. He polled well when the first lot of ballot boxes from Hela region was brought in for counting. About six Hela boxes were counted and Agiru collected the most votes while Messrs Yawari and Nali picked up a good number of votes too.

In the Tari-Pori seat, Joe Yagam is leading the race after count 25 with 2,114 votes.

Henry Hangori is second with 1,984, while sitting MP Tom Tomiape trails third with 1,908.

Sitting MP John Kekeno is leading the race for the Koroba-Lake Kopiago seat with 5,268 votes after count 28.

People’s Party man Father Mathias Olape is closely trailing in second place with 5,083 votes.

Former MP Petrus Thomas is in third slot with 2,246 votes, while lawyer and Pangu Party man Ben Peri is in fourth place with 1,481 votes.

In the Komo-Margarima seat, upper Wagi council president Doriga Pole has overtaken the lead with 2,260 votes after count 22.

In second place is Edward Alira with 1,638 votes while Dennis Nenewe is in third slot with 1,597 votes.

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