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Schnaubelt wins at last

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Reports by MALUM NALU
IT is fourth-time lucky for Namatanai MP-elect Walter Schnaubelt as he turned the tables on his cousin Byron Chan to win the seat on Saturday.
Schnaubelt, the president of the National Alliance Party, had been playing second-fiddle to Chan in the 2002, 2007 and 2012 elections.
The 50-year-old businessman was declared the Namatanai MP on Saturday afternoon by returning officer Benjamin Kliawi.  Schnaubelt won with 20,474 votes — well clear of Chan, who had conceded defeat last week when he was trailing with 12,799 votes.
“I wasn’t surprised that I won, but I was surprised that I won by such a large margin,” he told The National yesterday.
“I expected to win because I planned my strategy well.”
Schnaubelt said he knew he was up against a very formidable People’s Progress Party team led by Chan and his father, New Ireland Governor Sir Julius, and had planned his campaign strategy well.
Chan last Thursday night conceded defeat to Schnaubelt.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate the new member, who’s also my cousin, for his win,” Chan said
“It’s a privilege and I have the biggest respect for the honour which was bestowed on me for the last 15 years.
“I believe I have served my people well, as well as the district authority, provincial assembly and the national parliament.
“I have had the honour to be the Minister for Mining.
“I have met, during my time as a minister and member, presidents and prime ministers from all over the world.
“I have also had the privilege of working alongside elderly statesmen like Sir Michael Somare and my father.”

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