By Mike Puia
THE only female candidate in the Gizo-Kolombangara by-election, Lanelle Olandrea Tanangada, concluded her campaign programme in the constituency on Friday.
Lanelle’s final campaign was held at Gizo’s netball court, where she launched her campaign about three weeks ago.
She now looks set for the by-election polling day next Wednesday. Four other male candidates are contesting the seat.
Lanelle used her final campaign to appeal to the packed Gizo netball court to join her as she prepares for battle.
“Fight with me with respect, dignity and humility,” Lanelle, a resigned school teacher, said.
She said she wanted to complete the work her husband (Jimson) left and to be the voice of the unheard in parliament.
The seat Lanelle is contesting was vacated by Jimson last November on the order of the high court.
The high court found him guilty of bribery during the 2014 national general elections.
Lanelle said as a girl, woman, mother and teacher, she “perfectly understands the needs” of the people.
“I am not interested in politics. I am only interested in good governance and good leadership,” Lanelle said.
A grandmother who also witnessed Lanelle’s final campaign was Gladys Fatiano.
Fatiano told Island Sun Gizo that having Lanelle in parliament will give a fresh perspective to the same old song sung by male MPs.
Fatiano, 62, said Lanelle is a humble and honest lady and teacher who can be a fine leader for them.
“Lanelle is easy to approach. Being a teacher taught her to care for those she looks after,” Fatiano said.
She said having Lanelle as their MP is a dream come true for the women of the constituency.
“This is the time that we, the women, wanted to have a voice parliament. This is our cry. We hope she’ll go through. If not, we’ll do it again. We will never give up our fight to have a woman representing us in parliament,” Fatiano added.