Bougainville elects first woman MP in open seat

Josephine Getsi, in Peit constituency, has become the first woman to win an open seat since Bougainville first held elections under its autonomy arrangements ten years ago.

Getsi says her success is an important symbol for all Bougainvillean women.

She was competing against 11 men and did particularly well through the second preference votes re-allocated from unsuccessful candidates.

A total of 342 candidates contested the election, which included 33 constituency seats, three reserved seats for women in parliament, three reserved for former combatants and the seat of president.

Getsi was among 11 women who challenged male candidates for an open seat in their respective regions.

Helen Hakena, from the Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency, was with Getsi when the results were declared last Tuesday night.

Hakena said the newly-elected MP was left dumbfounded by the result.

“When she heard that they declared her the winner, she sat down in her chair without speaking, she had tears in her eyes,”

Source

News category: Asia Pacific.

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