17 Jun 2008

Bougainville constitution change mooted to choose Kabui successor

3:29 pm on 17 June 2008

MPs in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville could be called on to change the constitution to enable one of their number to be selected as President, following the death ten days ago of Joseph Kabui.

While ceremonies are continuing around the province to mark Mr Kabui's passing, the Executive Council is preparing to meet to consider by what means his successor should be chosen.

The acting President, John Tabinaman, says a by-election is the most likely option and he says there are a number of prospective candidates.

But he says a constitutional change, which would allow the President to be chosen from the sitting members, is also possible.

"That's an issue that will have to be discussed at the Executive Council for the members to consider, and we can either allow for a by-election to take its natural course, or to cause an amendment in the constitution so that a President could be elected from within the House of current sitting members."

John Tabinaman