O’Neill passes absolute majority


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says his people of Ialibu-Pangia want all votes to be counted before he is declared.
O’Neill passed the absolute majority total after count 86 of 115 boxes with 38,671 votes last night.
He was followed by lawyer Stanley Liria on 6161, Leonard Pangape 1575 and Justus Rapula 1149.
Counting was suspended at 5pm yesterday and scheduled to resume at 8am today.
“We will await the decision of the electoral commission and the returning officer, but our people’s preference is that all the boxes are counted so that their votes are registered,” O’Neill told The National.
“These votes are a source of pride for our voters, people and their tribes, so counting each of the boxes is of great importance to them.”
In Madang, businessman and People’s Labour Party leader Peter Yama started leading in the count for the Madang regional seat when it began at midday yesterday.  After the second count at 4pm, Yama was leading with 1439 votes followed by former Raicoast MP and Madang governor and National Alliance candidate James Yali with 830 votes, Ramsey Pariwa with 633 votes, Steven Asivo with 327 and Pangu Pati candidate and former army commander Jerry Singirok with 208.
Counting for the Madang open started late yesterday.
National Alliance candidate Robert Naguri was leading the count for Bogia open after count 2 at 5pm yesterday with 806 votes followed David Wama 610, Martin Yakumani 336, Andrew Baikisa 298 and Daniel Muturam 225.
Counting for Sumkar at Megiar Pastoral Centre along North Coast Road is scheduled to start today.
Counting for Raicoast and Usino-Bundi electorates is also expected to begin late today or tomorrow once issues with workers’ allowances are sorted.

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