Bukida is Aur’s unofficial winner

Ballots from the various polling stations around Majuro at the ICC August 21, a few hours after polls had closed for the special election. Photo: Wilmer Joel.

Chief Electoral Officer Daniel Andrew announced Friday the final, unofficial results for the special election that was held August 21 for mayor posts at Aur and Namu and council positions in those two as well as several other atolls.

The declaration of the final unofficial results starts a two-week clock that allows anyone to file petitions for recounts or other concerns up until September 25. After that, the results become final and official.

The Namu mayor race was determined on the domestic vote results, with Bowditch Jiji Kabua having a big enough lead over Acting Mayor Waikiki Lakmis that could not be changed with the small number of postal absentee votes.

The Aur race, however, was something altogether different. It ended as one of the closest races in RMI history, with a one-vote victory for Fred Bukida over Hesa Kaious. Bukida held a four vote lead after all domestic votes were counted, according to earlier electoral results.

He is the winner by a single vote, according to the final unofficial results released by Andrew this week. He defeated Kaious, 351-350. Another candidate, Jimmy Jonathan, beat both Bukida and Kaious in the Aur regular vote (73 votes to 30 and 49, respectively), but did not do nearly as well in the absentee or postal absentee results.

Kaious received 10 postal votes compared to five for Bukida.

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