12 Sep 2008

PNG court voids election of Madang Governor

9:50 am on 12 September 2008

Papua New Guinea's Court of Disputed Returns in Madang has declared void the election of the province's Governor, Sir Arnold Amet .

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the long awaited decision on the election petition filed last September by petitioner Peter Yama, was handed down by presiding judge Justice Bernard Sakora before a packed courtroom.

The court found that there was undue influence in statements that were made at four locations by Sir Arnold, one of his campaign co-ordinators, Nick Mare, and by PNG Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.

There was was shouting and jubilant chanting by Mr Yama's supporters outside the heavily guarded court house after the decision was handed down.

Sir Arnold said he accepted the court's decision.

He said he was sad for the people of Madang that after over a year, his attempts to try to serve them had been stalled.

He says he has yet to decide whether to re-contest the Governorship.