The National, Tuesday 17th July, 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
TARI-Pori sitting member James Marape became the fourth People’s National Congress Party candidate to be declared in the current general election counting at around 1pm yesterday in Tari.
The 41-year-old was declared with 18,271 votes, and was returned to serve a second term in parliament with a commanding 6,000 votes ahead of the next candidate. He also becomes the first declared member of the new Hela province.
“Satisfying, very satisfying, I am satisfied I returned knowing what the people want by their support and vote,” Marape said on his arrival at Jackson Airport in the capital three hours after being declared.
“I commend the people of Hela for the way these elections have run.
“For the first time, there has been no bloodshed so far, and this is a sign that they do want to see some good for the new province.
“It has been a hard and tedious process throughout the campaign period and then polling until today.
“I went into parliament in my first term to deliver and I like to think that I did the best I possibly could, and the people’s confidence has shown.”
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was also present to welcome and congratulate Marape.
“We are privileged and humbled at the same time by what is happening across the country, reflected by the support that PNC has been given, and the re-election of the member for Tari-Pori,” O’Neill said.
“It certainly shows that the people of Hela recognise their MP’s contribution, especially as a young leader.”
Marape said the nation had responded positively to what O’Neill had instilled as leader of the government.
He said PNC support in other Hela seats remained solid.