17 Jul 2012

PNC maintains lead in PNG vote count

6:42 pm on 17 July 2012

The People's National Congress of caretaker Prime Minister Peter O'Neill continues to lead vote counting after Papua New Guinea's general election.

The PNC leads or has won in 25 of the 111 seats in parliament.

The next best placed party, the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party led by Don Polye, is ahead in 14 seats.

After a slow start, the caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah has extended his lead in the Vanimo Green Open seat in West Sepik.

Mr Namah, whose PNG Party leads in seven seats, has passed 5,000 votes, giving him a lead of almost 2,000.

Also leading in seven seats is the National Alliance party of Sir Michael Somare who has a strong lead in the East Sepik provincial seat.

Independent candidates lead in nine while the People's Progress Party of former Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan leads in five and has secured all three seats in New Ireland province where he retains his position as Governor.