24 Jul 2012

People's National Congress extends lead in PNG election count

7:32 pm on 24 July 2012

The People's National Congress party has extended its lead in vote counting for Papua New Guinea's general election, taking its tally of wins in declared seats to 17.

The PNC also leads counting in 11 other seats, leaving Peter O'Neill's party ahead in 28 seats overall, with the next best placed party the Triumph Heritage Empowerment party, ahead in 12 seats.

The latest result has seen union leader Michael Malabag take the Moresby North-West seat for the PNC in a narrow win over Motu Koitabu leader Miria Ikupu of the People's Democratic Movement Party.

Mr Malabag fills the vacancy created by the retirement of a former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta.

Justin Tkatchenko of the Social Democratic Party has won the Moresby South Open seat vacated by another retiring long-time MP, Dame Carol Kidu.

So far results have been declared in 65 of the 111 electorates