PNG former Police Minister wins by-election

FORMER Police Minister Nixon Duban has won back his Madang Open seat by an absolute majority of 18,226 votes.
The People’s National Congress candidate was declared winner last Thursday night, beating his closest rival, Bryan Kramer, who collected 7,805 votes.
Kramer’s successful court petition had resulted in the by-election but Duban was the clear favourite and led the count from start to finish.
Businessmen Peter Yama and Stanley Pil came third and fourth respectively.
Speaking after the declaration Duban said the margin and number of votes he received showed the mandate he had received from the people.
“Madang is not for sale and cannot be bought and the people of Madang have shown which leader they want in parliament,” he said.
“The mandate I received has weight and I will deliver the services required in same speed as you have seen.”
Duban’s declaration came 13 hours before the deadline for the return of the electoral writ on Friday. He left on Friday for Port Moresby.
It was another victory for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s PNC party, which recently claimed Ambunti-Dreikikir when Ezekiel Anisi retained his seat to become the youngest elected MP.
Duban was the police minister at the time he was ousted by the court petition. 
The portfolio has been under the prime minister’s care and it is not certain whether the Madang MP will be given the ministry.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen announced the Madang result on Friday.
“I would like to thank the people of Madang Open electorate and all the 18 candidates for their cooperation despite hiccups in conducting the by-election,” he told reporters in Port Moresby.
Duban retained his seat after the 14th exclusion when he polled 18,226, over the absolute majority needed of 17,949 votes, while his court rival in the general 2012 election dispute Bryan Kramer became the runner-up again with 7,805 votes.
Duban polled 15,373, while Kramer polled 4653 after all primary counts and after the 13th exclusion, Duban moved up with 17,744 votes and Kramer had 6,767.
Buka Malai became the deciding factor when his 3,150 votes were distributed in the 14th exclusion.
Duban collected 482 of those votes and firmed his position on 18,228. Kramer received 1,038 votes and rested on 7,805 points.
The exhausted ballot papers numbered 1,603 caused the absolute majority votes to drop to 17,949 below Duban’s final total of 18,226.
Duban was declared at 10.15pm amid heavy police presence and witnessed by counting officials and scrutineers.
Despite the heavy downpour, supporters packed outside and inside Duban’s home in Madang town to celebrate his victory.
Twelve candidates are contesting the Kairuku-Hiri Open by-election in Central. 
Campaigning is progressing, with polling expected to begin on Jan 18. The writs will be returned on Feb 21 after a winner is declared.
The national

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