Alotau Open MP and Minister for Planning Charles Abel says he has given his heart and soul for his people over the last 10 years.
Abel told The National that his people were seeing developments and their member visiting them regularly for the first time had made a difference.
“We also have a PNC-led government that is touching the ordinary people,” Abel said.
In the Alotau Open seat, Abel will be facing a strong challenge from lawyer Allan Baniamai and Lisia Ilaibeni. Both had contested the last two elections.
Abel said that in 2007 he was the last person to be nominated and he was on second place to Ilaibeni on primary count by 105 votes out of 39 candidates.
He won by 305 votes only after preferential voting on the last elimination.
“Certainly, I never saw myself as being a politician nor expected to win,” Abel said.
“The Lord gave me an opportunity and I’ve tried to repay Him through a total commitment to service to our people.”
Abel, who is currently travelling the length and breadth of his electorate, mainly in the hinterlands of Rabaraba, said it was one of the privileges of his job to spend time with people.
“One of the privileges of my job is I get to spend a lot of time in the villages, washing in the river, sleeping and eating with people.
“As I visit them yet again in this campaign and listen to the elders and community leaders speak, I wish that I could somehow convey some of their sentiments to those in the urban centres.
“I honestly feel overwhelming, emotional support from the people.
“I will always remember these days as the best part of the job.”
The National Newspaper May 25, 2017