PNG PM: Results Of The General Election So Far Prove Wrong Claims Of Election “Rigging” In Favor Of The People’s National Congress Party

PM: remains confident they will have the numbers to form the next government

By Malum Nalu

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 19, 2017) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the results of the general election so far prove wrong what some have been claiming about it being “rigged” in favour of the People’s National Congress Party.

“You can see that the elections have been a true reflection of the people’s choices,” he said.

“All this nonsense about election fraud and rigging must come to an end. People, and leaders especially, must respect the wishes of the people. The people have spoken through the ballot.

“As I’ve said, PNC is losing some very good members, but that is the people’s choice and we accept that.”

“We will live with it and we will move on.

“But we are also picking up some new MPs who are going to be a very positive influence in the next term of Parliament.

“We look forward to working with them.”

The PNC won two more seats yesterday to take its total to eight.

O’Neill remains confident they will have the numbers to form the next government.

Despite the loss of four of its MPs in Morobe, he said the party was also winning “some new blood”.

“PNC has a very strong record out there. Voters throughout the country have responded well to our people,” he said.

“We have lost some good members but we are also winning some new blood into our party as well.”

The two PNC MPs who won their seats yesterday were Elias Kapavore in Pomio, East New Britain, and Charles Abel in Alotau.

The PNC members who lost their seats included Markham MP and Housing Minister Paul Isikiel, Menyamya MP Benjamin Philip, Tewai-Siassi MP and Fisheries Minister Mao Zeming and Finschhafen MP and Speaker Theodore Zurenuoc.

Meanwhile, Zurenuoc yesterday admitted defeat in Finschhafen.

“It’s done,” Zurenuoc told The National last night.

“We can’t say anything. The people have made their choice.

“I carried out a fair campaign. But in the end, the people made their choice.

“Over the last 10 years, the people of Finschhafen have enjoyed honest, transparent and down-to-earth leadership.

“I accept defeat. I’m grateful to God for the 10 years in office.”

PNC now leads with eight seats followed by Pangu with five, National Alliance has two, independents two, and one each to the Melanesian Liberal Party, United Resource Party, Christian Democratic Party and Coalition for Reform.

Abel was declared last night after the 23rd exclusion.

He polled 11,279 votes which was well above the absolute majority of 9885.

Runner-up and independent candidate Allan Boleh Baniyamai polled 7850.

Radio New Zealand International
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