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'Bougainville': from punchline to looming issue for Australia

Momis heading for comfortable victory in Bougainville

Momis election posterKEITH JACKSON

AS counting in the Bougainville elections continues, incumbent president Dr John Momis looks headed for a comfortable victory.

With 14,000 votes counted by six o’clock this morning he held an absolute majority over the other eight candidates with 53% of the vote.

Lagging well behind in second place was Ismael Toroama,  the hardline former commander of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), with 12%.

Next was ex-resistance movement leader Sam Akoitai, a onetime captive of the BRA who murdered several members of his family. In 1994 Akoitai initiated peace talks with the BRA.

In fourth place is another former BRA commander Sam Kauona, who, as a PNG Defence Force soldier, had been trained in explosives by the Australian Army, a skill he put to effective use in the Bougainville civil war.

In more recent times, Kauona has been something of a thorn in the side of the Autonomous Bougainville Government but this has not translated into a significant vote in this election.

In other results Fidelis Semoso has been declared the newly-elected member for Tsitalato in the House of Representatives. Mr Semoso was the regional member for Bougainville in the PNG national parliament from 2007-12.

Other declared members so far are Steven Suako (Torokina), Rodney Osioco (Kokoda), Dominic Itta (Kongara) and David Braun Vatavi (Taonita Tinputz). Suako and Vatavi retained their seats, while Ita will be serving a third term.


Update - Presidential vote at 5pm, 31 May




John Lawrence Momis



Sam Akoitai



Ismael Toroama



Nick F. Peniai



Sam Kauona



Reuben Siara



Others (3)




Percentages are rounded



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