29 Jun 2004

After nine months and three elections PNG swears in a new Governor General

8:31 pm on 29 June 2004

Papua New Guinea has sworn in a new Governor General - nine months after the process of choosing a successor to Sir Silas Atopare began.

The PNG Parliament met briefly this morning (TUES) to swear in Sir Paulias Matane.

He won the post after MPs held a third vote when the selections of Sir Albert Kipalan and Sir Pato Kakaraya were overturned by the courts.

Sir Pato has already unsuccessfully challenged his dumping but our correspondent in Port Moresby Peter Niesi says there are unconfirmed reports he is planning further legal action.

He says Sir Pato remains upset that Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has apparently not returned the loyalty that he had shown when Paias Wingti split from the Pangu Party to form the People's Democratic Movement.

"in that vein Sir Pato had been pretty hopeful that Sir Michael would think back in history and honour him by ensuring that the Government gave Sir Pato the backing to be the Vice Regal...so it is more about proving a point than being disgruntled that Sir Paulias has become the Governor General"