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Papua New Guinea's youngest politician, Ezekiel Anisi, is back in Parliament after reclaiming his Ambunti-Dreikikir Open seat in a by-election.
Anisi, who turned 25 on September 1, was declared the member-elect on Sunday by returning officer Kila Ralai in Maprik after the 14th exclusion that saw former MP and National Alliance candidate, Tony Aimo fall out of the race.
Anisi, the People’s National Congress candidate, polled 11,200 votes to beat his nearest rival and United Resource Party candidate Johnson Wapunai, who received 8,758 votes.
Anisi first contested the general election last year when he won by 8,141 votes.
But his election was nullified by the Supreme Court because he was not 25 years old at the time, the minimum age for a general election candidate.
Sixteen candidates contested the by-election that Ralai described “as very peaceful and without regular police presence during polling”.
Speaking at his Wewak home yesterday, an elated Anisi thanked the electoral commission, police for providing security during the counting and supporters of all candidates for delivering a peaceful election.
“I would like to acknowledge Yangoru-Saussia MP and Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Richard Maru, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the PNC Party for their support.
“As you all know, Ambunti-Dreikikir is the least developed district in East Sepik but I am confident we will see some changes in the next three years I will be in office,” Anisi said.
He said the people had spoken through the secret ballot and he would work with O’Neill to bring changes that people had not seen for the past 40 years.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
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