26 Jun 2002

Bill Skate wins seat as polling continues in parts of Papua New Guinea

10:15 am on 26 June 2002

Papua New Guinea's national election is now well into its second week with large numbers of votes still to be cast and only seven results declared so far

The latest result is for the National Capital District seat which has been held by former prime minister, Bill Skate.

Hundreds of his supporters took to the streets after the announcement, driving a massive convoy of trucks and utes through the streets to mark his victory.

Shortly after the result was declared, one of Skates political rivals, another former prime minister, Paias Wingti, arrived to congratulate the winner, despite his having defeated a prominent candidate from Wingti's own PDM party

In other results National Alliance candidate, Bart Philemon, has won the Lae Open seat, but the party's candidate in the Manus seat, Stephen Pokawin, was beaten by Dr Jacob Jumagot, in what is seen as a major upset.

In Port Moresby prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta held his North West seat while Melanesian Alliance candidate Lady Carol Kidu has retained Moresby South.

Voting in Chimbu Province which was to have begun last Thursday is still delayed with polling officials still to arrive at polling stations.

Polling in Southern Highlands province has been delayed until tomorrow

Voting was scheduled for yesterday but was delayed to allow time for extra police to be sent to the province.

A spokesperson from the Southern Highlands Special Operations division says 8 -hundred police will arrive in the province tomorrow to provide security at the polling stations.

He says security will be tight in the provincial capital, Mendi, to prevent violence similar to that in the Western Highlands which claimed nine lives last week.

"Right now people are going about there normal thing nobody's all yahooing, or anything like that, it's just very peaceful at this point in time, but it's tense....during the polling we don't expect anything to come up, until after the election, there will be tight security up there next week."

A spokesperson for the Southern Highlands Special Operations division

More than 40 parties and almost 3,000 candidates are standing for the 109 seats which will make up the new parliament