LATE SUNDAY UPDATE
NOOSA – The trend is your friend, it is said, and the trend in counting votes for the next president of Bougainville remains firmly with Ishmael Toroama, who continue to move ahead of the field.
With the elimination of the fourteenth presidential candidate late afternoon it became clear that only the two leaders amongst the 11 remaining contenders can come close to an absolute majority of 71,725 votes.
The release of updated figures this afternoon showed Ishmael Toroama consolidating his position as the likely winner as he moved out to a 10,500 vote lead over second placed candidate Fr Simon Dumarinu.
There were a few changes in the positions of the top 10 candidates during the day, the main one being Peter Tsiamalili moving into fourth place pushing Fidelis Semoso down to fifth. But it seems that neither candidate can win from here.
Dumarinu remains about 7,000 votes ahead of a bunch of three candidates - Raivet, Tsiamalili and Semoso - who all need the current preference trend to switch steeply their way to remain in the race.
Standings after the fourteenth count are:
Ishmael Toroama - 33,007
Simon Dumarinu – 22,474
Thomas Raivet – 14,779
Peter Tsiamalili – 14,324
Fidelis Semoso – 14,038
Samuel Kauona – 9,240
Joe Lera – 9,325
James Tanis – 9,096
Wesma Piika – 5,159
Sione Paasia – 4,973