31 Jul 2012

PNG vote counting nears completion

7:04 pm on 31 July 2012

Vote counting is nearly complete in Papua New Guinea's general election as the number of seats won by independent candidates has increased.

Results are yet to be declared in just nine of the 111 electorates.

Five of the last eight electorates to have results declared have been won by independent candidates, bringing the total number of independent MPs to 13.

The latest is Robert Atiyafa who has clinched Henganofi Open in Eastern Highlands province.

Also in Eastern Highlands, Isaac Waigavara of the People's National Congress has won Okapa Open.

This brings the total number of seats won by the PNC to 24, making it by far the largest party in the new parliament.

The PNC leader Peter O'Neill has already forged coalition arrangements with several other parties who have reportedly pledged their support for a government led by him.