21 Apr 2005

Five to contest presidency in Bougainville elections

6:38 pm on 21 April 2005

Five candidates are to contest the presidency of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville.

Nominations for the historic first elections beginning on May 20th ended this morning.

The poll will choose 41 MPs including at least three women and three former combatants who have seats set aside for them.

The electoral officer Mathias Pihei says a full list of candidates is not likely to be available before Friday afternoon, but he can confirm that there are five vying for the presidency.

They include John Momis, who resigned his position as Governor and as a national MP earlier this month; Joseph Kabui, who heads the People's Congress, and his deputy, James Tanis.

The others are Joel Banam, the chairman of the Leitana Council of Elders and Bartholomew Kigina from Buin in South Bougainville.