7 Jun 2010

Bougainville's Itta keeps seat, credits links to voters

1:30 pm on 7 June 2010

One of the few Cabinet Ministers to retain his seat in the elections for the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says it's because of the strong links he maintained with his electorate.

Final results in the poll are due with the writs to be returned on Wednesday.

Of the seats declared so far the bulk has gone to newcomers, with just three Cabinet Ministers returned.

Dominic Itta, the Agriculture Minister in the outgoing Government says most of those who lost their seats had ignored their constituencies.

"But as for me, myself, I had to visit my constituencies, even if there was no money, even if there was nothing I could offer them I would just go and talk to them and clarify how it is in the government system. So the people who have been removed they have been shown to be incompetent or they have shown that they have not much interest for the people."

Dominic Itta in Bougainville.

The former Bougainville governor, John Momis, has established a huge lead in the race for the presidency.