Polye opts for by-election

National, Normal


OUSTED Kandep MP Don Polye will go for a by-election to prove his 2007 national election win was genuine.
Mr Polye announced this last night at the governing National Alliance party’s Highlands faction meeting at Granville Hotel in Port Moresby.
The meeting also endorsed Tari-Pori MP James Marape as the NA’s Highlands interim deputy leader, replacing Mr Polye.
Mr Polye made the announcement before the nine NA members cast their votes in a secret ballot for his replacement that he wanted to make it clear his win in 2007 was genuine.
He told The National after the meeting that he went against the advice of his lawyers whom he claimed had genuine grounds for an appeal.
Mr Polye said he took into consideration two important things that made him opt for by-election.
He said the first was his reputation.
“If I win a review in the National Court, there will still be shadow of doubts in the minds of the people over my election victory.”
He said the other was his children, who might still have questions in their minds about his election win.“The vote difference was between 18,000 and 19,000 and my children will say ‘did daddy really stuff those papers and put them in the ballot boxes to win the election’?
“The best place to clear those doubts is to go back for by-election,” Mr Polye said.
He said although his lawyers had advised him to go back to court for review, he decided to go for by-election.
Newly-elected Highlands’s interim deputy party leader Mr Marape said the Highlands region unanimously voted him as leader while “Mr Polye goes back for by-elections”.
“This is an interim arrangement where we went through the secret ballot and I was elected interim leader.
“We also want to show that the Highlands NA bloc stands united to provide stability to the Somare Government until 2012.”
Mr Marape garnered five votes to beat Wabag MP Sam Abal and Mul-Baiyer MP Sani Rambi, who obtained two votes each.
He said Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare had also resolved to expedite funding for the Kandep by-election.
“The by-election will be expedited and all agencies of government will be working to ensure this is done.”
Mr Marape also gave a strong message to other political opponents that the NA Highlands bloc was solid and there was no room for anyone to infiltrate the camp.
He appealed to all NA supporters in the region to remain united and support the party.
The nine NA MPs who attended last night’s meeting included Mr Abal, Mr Marape and Mr Rambi, Speaker Jeffrey Nape, Tambul-Nebilyer MP Benjamin Poponawa, Kagua-Erave MP James Lagea, Lagaip-Porgera MP Philip Kikala and Lufa MP Yawa Silupa.