342 Candidates ar Contesting for 2015 Bougainville General Election

BUKA (BOUGAINVILLE) - A total of 342 candidates are contesting in the 2015 Autonomous Bougainville General Election.

From this total, North Bougainville recorded the highest with 158 candidates contesting the various seats including the former combatants, women’s and the constituency seats.

South Bougainville is next with 103 candidates while Central Bougainville has 72 candidates contesting.

Haku constituency in Buka has the highest of 24 candidates contesting while the seat that has the least number of candidates registered is Kongara constituency in Central Bougainville which has only two candidates contesting.

Current member Dominic Itta is aiming to create history by becoming the first member in the ABG’s political history to win in three consecutive ABG elections.

However, his opponent Graham Davaku is out to cause upset by wrestling the seat from him.

In the presidential seat, eight other candidates are up against President John Momis. Former Central Bougainville MP in the National Government and Mining Minister Samuel Akoitai is looming as the main threat to Momis, but former BRA commander Ishmael Toroama is also capable of causing an upset.

Meanwhile, four members in the current Bougainville House of Representatives will not be defending their seats in this year’s ABG General Election.

They include the member for Nissan constituency in North Bougainville, Leo Hannett, Central Bougainville former combatants representative David Sisito, Kokoda constituency member Joseph Bausina and South Bougainville former combatants’ representative, Michael Laita.

Sisito has decided to contest the South Nasioi constituency seat currently held by member John Ken while his counterpart from South Bougainville, Laita is vying for the Makis constituency seat.

Laita is aiming to topple current member and ABG Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Newton Kauva.

Former Bougainville Regional MP in the National Parliament and member for Nissan constituency Leo Hannett is believed to have decided not to contest due to frailing health conditions.

The reason behind Bausina not defending his seat is not known.

The fifth seat in the ABG parliament which currently has a vacancy is the Bolave constituency seat in the Bana district of South Bougainville.

The seat had became vacant following the death of member, the Lawrence Wakai, early this year. [IB]
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