3 Jun 2005

Bougainville's Joseph Kabui leads race for presidency of PNG province

7:07 am on 3 June 2005

The latest results in the presidential race for the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville show the former rebel leader, Joseph Kabui, in front.

Over the past two weeks voters have been electing 39 members to an assembly that will be given significant powers of self-rule.

The latest progressive result posted this morning suggests Mr Kabui has received slightly more than 60 per cent of the votes counted so far.

His nearest rival, former governor John Momis, is at just under 30 per cent of votes.

An endorsement of Mr Kabui by the rebel leader Francis Ona had been expected to have an impact on the final result.

16 out of the assembly's 39 seats now remain undeclared.

Results won't be made official until after a 30-day period to allow for appeals.