The National, Wednesday July 18th, 2012
SITTING East New Britain Governor Leo Dion took over the lead in count 81 of primary counts in the provincial seat yesterday.At 3pm yesterday, he was leading with 15,597, Sir John Kaputin fell to second place with 15,396, National Alliance candidate Levi Orong on 8,559 and Henry Ningo on 8,203.
Dion made a big jump from second place to first in this count after boxes from Ranguna, Kunakunai, Balanataman, Tinganalom, Nanuk, in Kokopo district, were counted.
Melanesian Alliance candidate, Sir John Kaputin had been maintaining the lead since counting started last Monday.After count 82, when boxes from areas in Dion’s Bitapaka local level government – Katakatai, Ralubang, Taui 1 and 2 were counted, Dion got 1,281 votes, putting him in a clear lead of 16,878.
Kaputin got 81 votes with a progressive of 15,477, Orong on 8,743 and Ningo on 8,310 votes.
There are 94 boxes to be counted for the provincial seat.At the Kokopo counting centre, the last box 17 of postal votes was completed at 5pm, with counting officials going into quality checks. Progressive results saw Ereman ToBaining Jnr leading with 3,355, Henry Libai on 2,264, Emil Tammur on 2,154 and Tiolam Wawaga 1,322. In Gazelle Open, a last box containing postal votes of police officers was believed to have been counted yesterday before 2pm as count 35. Returning officer Ekonia Walom yesterday confirmed that quality checks started at 2pm.Walom said it was most likely that the winning candidate would be declared at 3pm today.