Peter O’Neill Wins Majority Votes For Home Electorate In PNG

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Peter O’Neill Wins Majority Votes For Home Electorate In PNG Opposing candidates press court action for ‘failed election’

By Isaac Nicholas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 6, 2012) – Peoples National Congress (PNC) Party leader Peter O’Neill is Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) first member of parliament to be re-elected.

While he is yet to be formally declared by the Returning Officer, Mr. O’Neill secured 32,424 votes or 50 per cent Plus One absolute majority on the first count. Mr. O’Neill led from count 1 and after 82 boxes were counted he scored the 32,424, with his nearest rival being Eke Lama 5,252 and Raphael Noipo on 5,251 votes respectively.

He also becomes the first to retain his seat on the first count. "I am now re-elected for the third term and I thank everyone for their support."

Mr. O’Neill said the next major challenge as member-elect for Ialibu-Pangia is to ensure elections are concluded in an orderly manner.

He said late yesterday that the other major challenge is for PNC to take the lead in the formation of a new government that the people of Papua New Guinea wanted and have elected. In a new twist, candidates who have challenged him have gone to court seeking to declare a failed election for Ialibu-Pangia. Mr. O’Neill called on the candidates from Ialibu-Pangia to respect the people’s wishes which they had expressed through the ballot. "All they have to do is go to Pangia or Ialibu and ask if they chose their leader. The answer will be obvious. The public asked the candidates not to contest; they did not listen, now the people have spoken through the ballot."

Mr. O’Neill is very confident of returning with the numbers to form the next government as early results indicate that PNC candidates are doing well in the early stages of counting.

Former SHP administrator William Powi leads the Southern Highlands count, sitting MP for Imbonggu Francis Awesa is in front and David Basua is running third in Kagua-Erave electorate.

In the new Hela Province, Tari-Pori and chairman of Hela Transitional Authority James Marape is leading comfortably and Petrus Thomas is not far behind on third place for Koroba- Kopiago Open seat.

In Manus sitting MP Job Pomat is leading the race and his candidate for Manus Regional Charlie Benjamin is running a close second to sitting MP and Governor Michael Sapau.

Mr. O’Neill’s PNC Party has fielded a total of 89 candidates in the 2012 elections with 26 of the candidates as sitting members of parliament leading into the polls.

The Prime Minister declined to comment further on any future partnership as he said it is too early to make such statements but his line is always open for talks.

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