6 Aug 2012

Third female wins seat in PNG's parliament

6:06 pm on 6 August 2012

Papua New Guinea has three female MPs after Julie Soso won the Eastern Highlands Regional seat in the general election.

Ms Soso becomes PNG's first woman MP from the Highlands Region and the second ever female governor.

It's the second successful female candidate in this election for the Triumph Heritage Empowerment party whose Delilah Gore won the Sohe Open seat in Oro province.

The other female win in this election was by Loujaya Toni in Lae Open.

Before this election, PNG had only had four female MPs.

One of them, the recently retired MP Dame Carol Kidu, says having three female MPs to emerge from the general election is a massive victory for women.

Dame Carol, whose bill to create reserved seats for women in parliament fell short earlier this year, says it is important to now consolidate.

"To make sure those women are now backed up sufficiently so that those women can do more than one term, because there's 69 percent turnover in PNG's parliament. Most people only do one term. So it's critical that we give them the back-up to help them stay in there for an extended period of time. And the indications are that we should now work thoroughly with the party. Two of those women MPs were endorsed by a party and I think that has shown the way to the other parties."

Meanwhile, vote counting is still to be completed for two of the 111 seats in PNG's parliament: the National Capital District and Chimbu provincial seats.