11 Dec 2003

A PNG provincial governor calls for a republic and president

11:26 am on 11 December 2003

A Papua New Guinea provincial governor has called for the country to become a republic and the governor-general's office to be replaced by a president.

Peter Ipatas, the governor of Enga province, says the time is right for the country to cut its ties with the British monarchy and become a republic.

Mr Ipatas says people could elect a president and he or she, as head of state, would appoint a prime minister and the cabinet.

He says cabinet members could be from within or outside of parliament, and could comprise 20 ministers representing the 20 provinces.

Mr Ipatas says all open MPs and governors would then be able to spend more time in their electorates under a new system headed by the president.