Powi retains SHP seat

National

WILLIAM Powi has retained his seat as Southern Highlands governor following the return of the final writ for the 2017 general election to Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae yesterday.
It will be Powi’s second term.
He first won the seat in 2012 after his predecessor, Anderson Agiru, now late Agiru, stood down to become governor of the new
province of Hela, which had broken away from Southern Highlands.
Sir Bob received the 111th writ from deputy Electoral Commissioner John Kalamoroh at Government House yesterday.
Powi was declared on Wednesday night.
According to Kalamoroh, Powi had gone ahead of his nearest rival by more than 30,000 votes in the primary count.
He said 84 ballot boxes were set aside because they had been certified twice — once by the authorised returning officer and the second time by a person who was not authorised by the Electoral Commission.
Kalamoroh said they were factors that the Electoral Commission had to consider before declaring Powi based on the primary votes alone.
Sir Bob was concerned that the delay in counting had resulted in law and order problems in Southern Highlands, which in turn affected government services.
Sir Bob said the people of Southern Highlands had suffered long enough and hoped that normalcy would return quickly.

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