The National, Friday July 20th, 2012
By EDDIE MOSES
HELA finally got its inaugural governor and Middle Ramu and Finschhafen got new members yesterday.
Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru wrestled a fiercely contested regional seat from Andy Kenamu and declared that an investigation should be conducted into allegations of vote rigging and destroying of ballot boxes and papers as well as hijacking.
Agiru thanked the Hela people for his election victory.
He called on the people to forget the hand-out and claims mentality and unite to develop the new province.
“We have to start from scratch to build the basic infrastructure which other provinces already have,” he said.
“We do not have the luxury of time and we cannot use scarce resources to pay for false claims or as hand outs.
“I will join a government that has the numbers and that has the country at heart and has respect for the rule of law.”
In Finschhafen, current MP and People’s Progress Party candidate Theo Zurenuoc stormed home for his second parliamentary term at 6pm yesterday, boosting his party’s membership in parliament to five.
The education minister maintained his unassailable lead of 4,000-odd votes during the elimination process and was declared MP-elect with 9,738 votes by returning officer Sam Engam, after the 28th exclusion.
Zurenuoc’s win is the forth seat declared so far in Morobe. Declarations for six other seats including the regional seat are pending.
Zurenuoc’s nearest challenger Rainbo Paito could only muster 4,453 votes and was not really in contention at any stage of the elimination process. In his maiden speech, Zurenuoc thanked the Finschhafen people for their faith and trust in his leadership.
“I am humbled to be given this privilege to serve God’s people a second time,” he said.
The re-elected MP said it was a high calling to serve the people of Finschhafen and his victory was really the people’s victory.
“It is not the electorate but the elector that is the focus,” he said.
In Middle Ramu, the National Alliance lost another candidate with sitting MP Ben Semri losing to former MP Tommy Tomscoll from the People’s Democratic Movement.