30 Oct 2002

PNG's Electoral Commission welcomes court directives to pay workers

5:12 pm on 30 October 2002

Papua New Guinea's Electoral Commission is welcoming the intervention of the chief justice, Sir Arnold Ahmet, who has ordered that election workers must be paid.

Dr John Nonggorr, the commission's lawyer, says they've been trying for some time to persuade Treasury to release the funds because angry election workers are refusing to hand over documents.

The election documents are needed by the court of disputed returns to hear election challenges.

Dr Nonggorr says the chief justice put the workers, the Electoral commission and the Treasury department on notice to take action.

"That intervention by the Chief Justice is timely, the courts have got reserve powers to compel attendance of civil servants not only to explain but also to deal with for example make payments where that's necessary to ensure that court proceedings are progressed."

Dr Nonggorr says the electoral commission is currently gathering further information to present to the Treasury department on who is owed what.