Chans, Micah lead in New Ireland

National, Normal

The National, Monday July 9th, 2012

THREE People’s Pro­gress Party candidates – NIP Governor Sir Julius Chan, sitting MP Byron Chan and Ben Micah – are leading in the three seats in New Ireland.
After count six at 4am yesterday at the Stemper Hall in Namatanai, primary counts for the electorate saw Chan on 1,352, followed by Kepas Wali 1,085, Walter Schnaubelt on 847 and John Sait 448.
After count five at 5pm yesterday in the Kavieng open seat, Micah was leading with 1,580 followed by Pedi Anis
1, 325, MP Martin Aini 722 and Darryl Jee on 373 votes.
The regional seat, after count four was suspended on Sunday at 4am, saw Sir Julius leading with 2,740, Ling Stuckey 1,823, Greg Toksy Seth 646 and John Paska on 668.
Counting in the province commenced on Saturday evening but took almost three hours to tally the first two boxes for the smallest LLG in Kavieng.
This raised complaints from scrutineers. 
In Namatanai, counting started at 7.15pm and in Kavieng at 7.20pm at the Peter Torot centre.
According to provincial returning officer Ricky Fugunto, counting continued until midnight and was suspended until 1pm yesterday.
He expected counting to be completed within a week.
There are five LLGs in Namatanai – Central New Ireland, Nimamar, Namatanai, Tanir and Konoagil LLGs.
In Kavieng there are four LLGs – Murat, Lavongai, Kavieng Urban and Tikana.
There are 20 ballot boxes for each.