6 Jan 2006

PNG minister offers to replace convicted governor

10:15 am on 6 January 2006

A report says Papua New Guinea's inter-government relations minister Sir Peter Barter has offered to take over from James Yali as the governor of Madang.

The Pacnews news agency reports this follows speculation that Yali, who's being held at Beon jail, will be stripped of the governorship following his recent conviction for raping a female about a year ago.

The Madang National Court is scheduled to hand down the sentence on the 17th of January.

Sir Peter says he's prepared to leave cabinet to take over from Mr Yali but only if at least 20 of the 29 provincial assembly members agree to support him.

He says once he's received such a letter he will resign and make himself available.