Ex-army boss leads race

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FORMER Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander Ishmael Toroama is leading the race for the Autonomous Bougainville Government President’s seat as counting enters its final stages.
According to the Bougainville Electoral Commission Facebook page, Toroama is leading on 27,487 followed by former Central Bougainville MP Simon Dumarinu on 19,301.
Behind them are Thomas Raivet on 13,005, Fidelis Semoso on 12,271 and Peter Tsiamalili on 11,845.
The figures were from the last count of ballots for the seat on Monday.
Total votes cast were 148,727 but 4,303 were declared informal.
The Bougainville Electoral Commission forecasts that the absolute majority will be above 70,000.
If none of the candidates has reached the absolute majority after the quality checks, then the elimination process will begin until a winner is declared.
Electoral Commissioner George Manu has extended the date for the return of writs to the end of the month.
Seats declared yesterday included the Central Bougainville Regional Women’s seat won by Yolande Geraldine Paul, the Central Bougainville Former Combatants seat won by Linus Jr Dake and the North Region Selau constituency won by Paul Otto.
Patrick Nisira also won back the Halia constituency in North Bougainville. Meanwhile acting PNG Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai said senior officials were helping out in the ABG elections.
“We assisted from voter registration to polling and now we are in the counting phase,” Sinai said.
The four counting centres are at the Hutjena United Church hall for the president’s seat, Buka Town United Church hall for North Bougainville, Arawa UC hall for Central Bougainville, and Buin count centre for South Bougainville.

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