11 Apr 2007

PNG government accused of hijacking Highlands appointment process

3:25 pm on 11 April 2007

The governor of Southern Highlands in Papua New Guinea has accused the National Executive Council of breaching public service rules over the appointment of the provincial administrator.

This follows a decision by the NEC last week to send William Powi back to the province as administrator, hours after the National Court upheld his termination.

The NEC decision was made after the National Court confirmed the revocation of Mr Powi's appointment last September during the State of Emergency in the province.

Governor Hami Yawari has accused the deputy prime minster Don Polye who signed the appointment, of "hijacking" the public service appointment process.

"When the Supreme Court has made a decision that the State of Emergency in Southern highlands and the suspension of the provincial government was unconstitutional and invalid, Mr Powi should voluntarily leave the office because the State of Emergency has been ruled invalid by the Supreme Court."

Governor Yawari says he will refer the matter to the Ombudsman Commission to investigate for possible abuse of office and fraud.