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PNG Elections: NCD Regional Seat literally hanging by the nut

The debate on Papua New Guinea's favorite nut, the betelnut, could provide the winning edge in the National Capital District Regional Seat.
Thousands of settlers in Port Moresby sustain themselves through the huge betelnut trade which also extends into Central province.

However, since an introduced ban by incumbent NCD governor Powes Parkop in 2013, daily revenues to the livelihoods of thousands of people have been affected.
Many of the 38 candidates now contesting the NCD Regional Seat are now viewing debate on this local commodity as their ticket to win.
A number of them have also accommodated betelnut policing as part of their campaign policies.
Powes Parkop had partially lifted the ban last year, only allowing regulated sale on a wholesale and retail basis at approved locations in the city, a move which voters have viewed as reverting from his initial hardline stance.

Former NCD top cop and now candidate, Andy Bawa, said he would lift the ban and allocate proper vending sites for trading.
Former health minister and now candidate, Jamie Maxtone Graham, said he would rather lift the ban but impose hefty penalties instead.
Another candidate, civil engineer Robert Agen, said he will pioneer a recycling plant for betelnut husks and spittle.
But lawyer Paul Paraka, said he will make sure all those who have been victims of the betelnut ban are compensated.
With these differing views, it is obvious that whoever commands the debate on the betelnut trade will gain favour with the voters.
NBCNews -Kelvin Kaspar : Photo - NBC
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