22 Sep 2003

Concern emerges over election of PNG governor-general

2:38 pm on 22 September 2003

Concern has been expressed about the validity last week's election of Papua new Guinea's new Governor-General Sir Albert Kipalan, particularly over apparent double endorsement of candidates by MPs.

Sir Albert was among eight candidates who contested the position to be filled for a new two-year term from next January.

A parliament officer, Andriet Yauieb, says there were three serious breaches of the Organic Law, including the fact there were more than the allowed six candidates for nomination.

He also says the speaker should not have cast the deciding vote favour of Sir Albert who beat Sir Paulias Matane by 46 votes to 45 in the final ballot.

Mr Yauieb says for a candidate to qualify to contest the election, he must have the support of one mover and fifteen others.

He says the fact that eight candidates were nominated by the available 91 MPs means some members of parliament have doubled proposed or double supported candidates.