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Independent claims Koroba-Kopiago seat

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By MALUM NALU
INDEPENDENT candidate Petrus Thomas, declared the winner of the Koroba-Lake Kopiago seat in Hela, is keeping his options open on joining the government if invited to.
He said he would remain on the sideline for now as an independent MP and any decision to move to the government side would be made by the people who elected him.
He said this yesterday after witnessing the presentation of the writ for the seat by Koroba-Lake Kopiago returning officer Danny Hongai to Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.
There has been speculation that he would be joining the People’s National Congress Party after being pictured with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Tari-Pori MP James Marape last week.
Thomas, 43, a former PNG Kumuls rugby league player, is a surveyor by profession.
He was MP from 2002 to 2005 before he was ousted by the Court of Disputed Return.
“I stood for election as an independent candidate and I remain an independent candidate,” he said.
“But I will monitor the formation of government,” he said.
“If I see a party that has the potential to form government, and it is my people’s choice that I must be in government, I will be part of that party because my people want service delivery for the duration of my tenure.”
Thomas, who was at the ceremony yesterday with Marape and Hela provincial administrator William Bando, said the province completed the elections despite everyone’s forebodings.
“Polling and counting, despite minor discrepancies, fared well,” he said.

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