Manele unseats Riumana in tough election contest - Solomon Star News

Manele unseats Riumana in tough election contest

23 November 2014

Voters of Hograno/Kia/Havulei constituency in Isabel Province have said “enough is enough” to their outgoing member Selwyn Riumana, as they voted in a new and promising leader in his stead.

Former permanent secretary of the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination Jeremiah Manele is the new MP for the constituency.

A highly respected diplomat who had served the country in various missions overseas, Manele polled 3,323 votes, well ahead of Riumana, who could only managed 1,242 this round.

This was a margin of 1,242 ballots.

Observers said this was a tough contest as Riumana, who had served the constituency for the last two terms, has had a huge army of supporters.

Nelson Kehe Kile, a one-time MP for the constituency, came third with 133 votes, followed by Charles Misary, who received only six ballots.

News of Manele’s victory sent provincial capital Buala in rapture yesterday afternoon, according to police officer Sergeant Alfred Tatano of Isabel police.

 “On immediate release of the result, supporters were overwhelmed with joy though many are not from that constituency,” Tatano said.

Manele also held the portfolio of Secretary to the Prime Minister during the Dr Derek Sikua-led government and other positions in previous governments.

He resigned recently as Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Development, Planning and Aid Coordination purposely to contest the elections.

His election saw Isabel electing two new faces in last Wednesday’s polls, while re-electing an outgoing MP.

Dr Culwick Togamana, a former University of the South Pacific lecturer, was another new face.

Togamana was the new MP for Maringe-Kokota.

Samuel Manetoalia, outgoing MP for Gao-Bugotu, retained his seat.

Observers commended voters of Isabel for voting in the best line-up of MPs to ever come from the province.