The National, Thursday July 26th, 2012
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
TWO sitting MPs have retained their seats in Madang.
Raicoast’s James Gau, the T.H.E Party powerbroker during its formation after it broke away from the National Alliance, and Bogia’s John Hickey have been reinstated.
However, the victory may not be too sweet for Gau as his main rival James Salel, a People’s Labour Party candidate, has threatened to sue him and returning officer Jimmy Aspel.
A source in Saidor claims that Salel has possession of seven cheques allegedly handed out by Gau the day before the scheduled polling date.
Salel is reportedly filing two court petitions alleging bribery and undue influence against Gau and unfair election procedures by Aspel for not allowing presiding officers to mention the serial numbers of all the ballot papers from start to finish so that a total tally of the number of voters could be determined.
Despite the setbacks in the background, Gau and his supporters were a jubilant mood as he was whisked away in a chopper to Madang where supporters awaited him for celebrations.
Gau won by an absolute majority of 10,586 votes after Salel’s elimination.
The runner-up was Peter Sapia who managed 8,061.