31 Jul 2002

PNG National Court rejects any further extension of the general election

11:03 am on 31 July 2002

A judge at the Papua New Guinea National Court has slammed the Electoral Commissioner and rejected a last-minute bid for another extension to the election

The Electoral Commissioner Reuben Kaiulo asked the National Court on Monday if the results for 15 seats in the strife-torn highlands could be submitted up to four days late.

But Justice Mark Sevua says any further delays would make Papua New Guinea an international "laughing stock".

Justice Sevua says Mr Kaiulo has had five years to prepare for the violence and intimidation which undermined the vote in the Southern Highlands and Enga.

Meanwhile Sir Anthony Siaguru of Transparency International says the two provinces must have new elections as soon as possible.

"We've come to the view that the process that's taken place so far in those two Highland provinces is so flawed that there should be fresh elections and that should take place as soon as possible, but under secure conditions."

Sir Anthony Siaguru of Transparency International