The Nationa, Monday July 16th, 2012
By ELIAS NANAU in Vanimo
THE PNG Party is very confident that its leader, Belden Namah, will jump to first place in the Vanimo-Green River electorate count and win on first preference votes.
After voting at his Somboi village in Bewani, Namah had said he should win by 20,000 on first preference votes. PNG Party secretary Pat Kassman said: “He will return on first count and go and form government to be the prime minister.”
“The people of Vanimo-Green River are confident of him winning the seat. The last 40 boxes come from his stronghold (Bewani Wutung Onei LLG) and that’s where the confidence comes from.”
After count 41 on Saturday, Namah had 2,256 votes and was running second behind Willie Obow Inaru, on 3,195.
Yesterday afternoon, counting officials were sorting out the regional and open seat ballots contained in the 40 boxes for the Bewani Wutung Onei LLG.
Meanwhile, all West Sepik open seats were into counting. Nuku had reportedly entered its seventh elimination as of 6pm yesterday and National Alliance candidate Joe Sungi leading with 7,731 votes. Sitting member Andrew Kumbakor is on second place with 7,588 votes.
Returning officer Joe Aflatawa said they had noticed that ballots were distributed evenly and many ballots had been exhausted.
In the West Sepik provincial seat, counting officials had completed the 41 ballot boxes for Vanimo-Green River electorate and they were now into Telefomin electorate.
At 6pm yesterday afternoon and after count 43, T.H.E Party candidate Amkat Mai was leading with 6,021 votes.
In the Aitape-Lumi electorate, sitting member and National Alliance candidate Patrick Pruaitch was declared winner just after 5pm last Friday.
Pruaitch had acknowledged the people of Aitape-Lumi for returning him to parliament third time around.
It was understood that several losing candidates were now putting together affidavits and evidence to challenge his win in the court of disputed returns.