By HELEN TARAWA
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato yesterday accepted William Gogle Onglo as the Kundiawa Gembogl MP with the return of the writ.
Gamato said Onglo collected 15,499 votes ahead of runner up Waghi Merimba (12,798) and Peter Kama (10,927).
He said the writ could not be returned earlier despite Onglo being declared the member-elect as there were two disputed ballot boxes.
“The Supreme Court, the highest court, recognises the power I have as chief commissioner and the head of the electoral process,” Gamato said. “I congratulate Onglo for his win and accept his writ.”
He said if there were any disputes, especially on the two boxes, the parties would have to raise them with the Court of Disputed Returns to file their grievances.
“These are the final results on which the returning officer has based his declaration.
“I will return the writs to the head of state (today) so Onglo can be sworn into the Parliament,” Gamato said.
Onglo thanked God for giving him the strength to come through the stressful three weeks of the election.
“We had a lot of issues back home; there were deaths, destruction of properties and a lot of displaced families with about 48 houses burnt down,” he said.
“There is a lot of uncertainty in the district and we have lot of rebuilding to do; I’m sure my people are happy to hear that it’s over now.
“We are pretty late — we did not vote for the prime minister and speaker — and I have missed the induction; I have lots of catching up to do.
“I will take a few days off to go home and tell my people what is happening before I return to be inducted.” Meanwhile, Gamato said counting was still continuing for the Southern Highlands regional seat despite applications before the courts.
It will be the last general election seat declared.
By HELEN TARAWA