8 Nov 2003

Election of East Sepik governor declared null and void

10:14 am on 8 November 2003

The election of the new governor of East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea, Henry Airo, has been declared null and void.

The Post Courier reports the Attorney-General, Francis Damem, has passed the information on to the Minister for Inter-Governmment Relations, Sir Peter Barter.

Sir Peter says the East Sepik Provincial Government will have to reconvene as an assembly and elect a governor from among the East Sepik Open Electorate Members of Parliament.

Sir Peter says the Attorney-General has confirmed that the election of Mr Ariro was invalid as it contravened the Organic Law relating to filling a vacancy in the office of the Governor.

Section 21 of the Organic Law on Provincial Government and Local-Level Governments states that "the Assembly shall elect another Member of Parliament to be the provincial governor in the event that the position becomes vacant".