The National, Wednesday July 18th, 2012
SOUTH Bougainville MP and United Resource Party candidate Steven Pirika Kamma proved his critics wrong by successfully defending his seat for a second term in parliament. Kamma was declared the winner by returning officer John Monei yesterday.“I want to thank the people of South Bougainville for having confidence in me,” he said.“I have a vision to change South Bougainville and believe that if we all work in partnership, we will develop South Bougainville.”Kamma appealed to other candidates who contested the seat to work with him for the good of the electorate.He became the 10th MP to be re-elected following Peter O’Neill (Ialibu-Pangia), Don Polye (Kandep), Patrick Pruiatch (Aitape-Lumi), Byron Chan (Namatanai), Paul Tienten (Pomio), Dr Allan Marat (Rabaul), James Marape (Tari), Sam Basil (Bulolo) and Sir Julius Chan (New Ireland regional).
People seemed happy with Kamma’s re-election as they looked forward to more developments in the next five years.He collected 10,262 votes in the 10th count to surpass the 9,696 absolute majority votes.
His nearest rival was Melanesian Alliance Party’s Timothy Masiu (5,087) followed by Independent’s Peter Manuka, Thaddeus Kaile and Raymond Kakaponi.Kamma, who is also the Minister for Bougainville Affairs in the caretaker O’Neill-Namah government, had led the race from the 13 candidates since counting started last Tuesday.Meanwhile, Central Bougainville returning officer Reitama Taravaru said his electorate was still trying to reconcile and discover shortfalls.Last Saturday and again on Monday it was discovered that quality checks were not being done properly by counting officials as there were still discrepancies.
He said counting officials were still in elimination 10 and he had directed the returning officer to re-check with counting officials from South Bougainville now involved.Primary counts for North Bougainville ended on Monday night with sitting member Lauta Atoi leading with 6,819, William Nakin on 3,483 and John Sisiesi on 2,697. Quality checks were in progress.