Monday, March 13, 2006

Abraham takes lead in Irian Jaya Barat counting

Supporters of former Sorong regent Abraham Octovianus Atururi celebrated Sunday amid provisional results showing him headed for victory in West Irian Jaya's first direct gubernatorial election. Abraham, whose running mate is Rahimin Katjong, was reported ahead in all the election regions -- eight regencies and one mayoralty -- in the newly established but disputed province.

Many of Abraham's supporters, including members of the Arfak tribe in traditional attire and carrying spears and arrows, flocked to his house to dance and sing in celebration. They were treated to a feast at the home, although latecomers were forced to do with bottled water when the food ran out. "Pak Abraham deserves the victory because besides being an indigenous man of West Irian Jaya, he has also contributed greatly to West Irian Jaya in the regional administration, including as the regent of Sorong," his campaign team manager Terianus Nauw said. He was confident Abraham, who is a former marine brigadier general, would carry out his campaign pledges, which centered on improving public welfare.

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