24 Nov 2009

CNMI's Fitial in lead as territory awaits absentee ballots

2:32 pm on 24 November 2009

Preliminary results from the Northern Marianas show a 501-vote lead of the incumbent Benigno Fitial over Heinz Hofschneider in a run off election for governor.

The run-off was held because none of the candidates secured the required majority of votes in the first round two weeks ago.

Our correspondent in the CNMI, Mark Rabago, reports.

"We're still waiting for absentee votes of around 1200. But the latest is Mr Fitial is leading by 6313 votes against Mr Hofschneider's 5812. So that's a 501 vote difference. But the commissioner of elections said we have to wait for all the absentee ballots to come in and they expect it no later than December 7 and that's when they'll make the offical tally and make the official declaration of who won the election."

Mark Rabago