6 Jun 2005

Bougainville president-elect dismisses election fraud claim as sour grapes

7:18 pm on 6 June 2005

The resounding success of Joseph Kabui in winning the presidency in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville autonomy elections has been clouded by claims of electoral fraud.

The second highest polling candidate, the former Governor, John Momis, says the election was a monumentally fraudulent exercise and he is confident he can overturn the result.

But Mr Kabui, who is to be sworn in on Friday, says Mr Momis's complaint is sour grapes from someone who cannot accept he's lost.

He says if there had been anything untoward it would have been brought to the attention of the international election observers, but this didn't happen.

"'Bougainville is a small place and we know from experience that whenever there is an incident, whether it is a road block, the burning down of a house, some sort of hustle of somebody, in any corner of Bougainville, by sunset, the news would trickle even up to here in Buka where I am now - none of that was experienced throughout the whole election."