Vika Lusibaea elected as MP for North Malaita in Solomon Islands


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03 August 2012

North Malaita constituency has a new Member of Parliament (MP) who was unofficially declared last night. She is Vika Lusibaea, the wife of former MP Jimmy Lusibaea.  Mrs Lusibaea was declared by Returning Officer Louis Wale after the completion of counting last night in Auki. Governor General Sir Frank Kabui is expected to make the official declaration today.

It was a landslide victory for Mrs Lusibaea following Wednesday's by-election.  She polled a total of 2802 votes ahead of the second candidate Fredrick Kwanairara with 901 votes.  The other candidates are Senley Filualea - 675, Peter Fairamoa - 503, Daniel Fa'afunua - 269, Joel Moffat Konofilia - 248, Wilfred Baetalua - 189, Felix Abuofa - 51, George Sency- 23 and Ben Fruits O'Bana - 4.

Speaking to The Solomon Star last night Government Communications Officer based in Auki Brian Wanga said the declaration was announced after 11pm last night. He said counting kicked off at 2pm yesterday afternoon and was completed after nearly nine hours. Mr Wanga said a total of 5693 votes were casted at 21 polling stations in three wards within the constituency. And 28 votes were rejected. Wards 7 which covers Fo'ondo to Gwaiau has 7 polling stations, ward 8 - Malu'u has 8 polling stations and ward 9 - has 6 polling stations. Mr Wanga said counting last night went well with the presence of police providing security around the counting venue.

He said the result was received with mixed reaction from supporters and voters in Auki after the announcement. However he said the votes have spoken for itself. Following the declaration by the returning officer last night the public have congratulated the new MP elect for her victory. Many through the social network Facebook after learning about the news sent their congratulation to the newly elected MP who is the second woman MP to be elected into the country's parliament. Many said its good to have a woman MP in parliament. Others said its victory for the women in Solomon Islands.

Mrs Lusibaea who is originally from Fiji no doubt will be making history for herself and her family. She has been supporting her husband with their business and during her husband's time in the politics as MP. One of the supporters earlier told this paper that a victory by Mrs Lusibaea would see most of the projects and plans for North Malaita outlined by her husband prior to his removal to continue.

Meanwhile counting for East Are'Are constituency will kick off this morning in Auki. Mr Wanga said most of the ballot boxes have arrived in Auki last night and are being secured at the Auki police station by 8pm last night. Result for East Are'Are is expected later today.

The two constituencies’ seats were left vacant after North Malaita’s former MP Jimmy Lusibaea and East Are’Are’s former MP Andrew Hanaria lost their respective seats. Former Fisheries Minister Jimmy Lusibaea vacated the North Malaita seat two months after elections in August 2010.

This was after the High Court overturned a remission given by the then Minister for Police James Tora and the Parole Board following his two years and nine months sentence on tension related charges.

Former Minister for Communication and Aviation Andrew Hanaria lost the East Are'Are seat last December after he lost an election petition case filed against him by losing candidates who contested the seat during the August 2010 National General Elections.

The two were not allowed to re-contest the by-elections under the Electoral Commission laws.

By Moffat Mamu - HTTP://WWW.SOLOMONSTARNEWS.COM/NEWS/NATIONAL/15560-WOMAN-MP-FOR-NORTH-MALAITA

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