2 Apr 2004

Matane to again join PNG race for governor-general

3:13 pm on 2 April 2004

A Papua New Guinea diplomat and writer, Sir Paulius Matane has announced he will recontest the post of Governor-General after the supreme court nullified the election of Governor-General-elect Sir Pato Kakaraya.

The chief justice, Sir Mari Kapi, ruled that it was contrary to the law for the speaker to cast the deciding vote in the election last December.

The case had been brought by the losing candidate, Sir Albert Kipalan, who himself was chosen as governor general in an election in September which the Supreme Court declared invalid because of a faulty nomination process.

Sir Albert, who has confirmed he will also recontest the post, says the election should be a straightforward process and he's confident it will be this time around.

"I think they can. It's a simple mistake they made and the court ruled that parliament has to strictly comply with the form. There is no lenience, there is no question mark left. It has to be very, very strict. Strict compliance."

Admitting that the election has become tied in with the issue of parliament's long adjournment, Sir Albert warns that the election process must not be politicised.