By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Sam Akoitai has been officially sworn-in as the member for Central Bougainville. Akoitai was declared by the National Court after petitioning Fr. Simon Dumarinu. The swearing-in ceremony was carried out this morning by Speaker of Parliament, Job Pomat.
Akoitai petitioned the Electoral Commission for a recount of the Central Bougainville Seat. At the recount, Akoitai won by four votes with 7,257 votes while Fr. Dumarinu had 7,253 votes. His victory makes him the first petitioner to be declared a winner in the 2017 Election Petition cases that are before the courts.
Mr. Akoitai is no stranger to politics. He bowed out 10 years ago but says his return is timely as Bougainville prepares for Autonomy. The Central Bougainville MP says he is prepared to work with the other leaders of Bougainville. Akoitai says law and order will be his priority. He will return to the floor of Parliament when the May session begins.