The Nationa, Monday July 16th, 2012
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
SIR Arnold Amet is leading the race after count 47, the last box for the Madang open electorate provincial seat count.
As of 2pm yesterday, counting of boxes for the Usino-Bundi area for the provincial seat were started after Sir Arnold had led comfortably leaving a 1,000 plus difference between his nearest rival, Greg Tuma.
Sir Arnold is leading with 7,255, Tuma 5,694, Manu Yama is third with 4,991, Mary Kamang fourth with 4,894 and PNG Party candidate Jim Kas on 4,239 votes.
Former governor and member for Raicoast, James Gau, strongman for the T.H.E Party, as at count six yesterday morning, had a good run with Andrew Salel, a People’s Labor Party candidate coming hot with only a 16-vote difference between the two.
Gau was on 1,288 and Salel on 1,272 with National Alliance candidate Daniel Biti on 1,080.
Returning officer for RaiCoast Jim Aspel said that they had only started counting yesterday after sorting out various logistical and administrative matters.
RaiCoast has a total of 23 candidates with seven of the 38 boxes already counted.
For the Usino-Bundi open seat, as of count 12, all candidates were still on the 1,000 mark with People’s National Congress Party candidate James Thaddeus leading on 1,847 votes, Peter Yama on 1,744, United Resource Party candidate, Anton Yagama, on 1,481 and Peoples Progress Party man, Richard Kindi, on 1,435 votes.
A total of 16 boxes are yet to be counted.
For the Bogia open seat, current seating MP John Hickey is third with 988.
PNG National Party favourite in the hinterlands of Bogia, David Wama, is leading the tally with 2,009 votes followed by United Resource Party candidate Fredrick Kambual.
Sumkar sitting MP Ken Fairweather is faring well with 5,570, former PNG Defence Force commander, Jerry Singirok following with 3,822 and PNG Party candidate, Chris Kalik, third on 3,190.
Sumkar is expected to complete its primary votes and begin on the elimination process today after 16 of the 18 boxes were completed yesterday.
In Middle Ramu counting was suspended last Friday due to perceived irregularities over the number of ballot boxes.
Former MP Tommy Asik Tomscoll is leading the count with more than 5,000 votes when counting was suspended after count eight.