By DOROTHY MARK
The power of limited preferential voting swept a newcomer from obscurity to the top, unseating Middle Ramu MP and Cabinet Minister Tommy Tomscoll on the way.
United Resource Party candidate Jonny Ananias Alonk came from well behind to win the seat on Friday.
When primary counting for the seat ended, Alonk was not even in the top five.
He said that even he was surprised with how the voting went, leading to him being declared the MP-elect in place of Agriculture Minister and People’s National Congress Party candidate Tomscoll.
Clearly the voters had given their first-choice vote one to the one they thought was the best candidate and gave their second and third preferences to candidates they thought would not make it to the top five.
But things changed when Alonk swept past and reached the absolute majority vote in the 33rd exclusion.
Alonk won with 10,467 votes, the absolute majority was 9199.
Kansol Harwai Kamdaru, who was leading in all counts, was eliminated in the 33rd exclusion and his 7294 votes were shared and powered Alonk past the absolute majority mark.
The runner-up candidate was John Mark with 7930 votes.
Alonk contested in the 2002 national election and came fifth, came third in 2007 and second in 2012 but did not give up.
“Even my family lost hope in me thinking that I will not win this time because I am always losing,” Alonk said.
“They were all in Port Moresby celebrating my elder daughter’s graduation and didn’t bother to answer my phone calls when I called to inform them that I won.”
Alonk was declared at 3.30pm and from then to 9am on Saturday he tried contacting his family to let them know he had won but no one bothered to answer his calls.
He said his family finally learnt that he won at around 10am on Saturday when he was already at the URP camp in Port Moresby.
“It was supposed to be a double joy for my family when I got declared on the same day when my daughter
Hilla Alonk graduated with Bachelor in Science but I don’t know what was wrong with all of them there, “ Alonk said.
Alonk is a former employee of Post PNG but has been self-employed since he began contesting elections.
He is from Fundum village in Simbai local level government, Middle Ramu district.
By DOROTHY MARK